The chroniclers of Jeopardy!


A holy site where any casual viewer of Jeopardy! can appreciate the profound weight of the program’s 36-year history. A dissertation-level study on how the show’s nightly trivia affected the ambient knowledge of the American mind. An exacting catalog of the countless number of times that Alex Trebek has shepherded us through categories of potpourri, of arcane word games, of 19th-century novelists whose names begin with the letter E.

What is the J! Archive?

On the fan-run J! Archive, a would-be scholar can click on any season, from any year, and bear witness to thousands and thousands of tabulated episodes. There are national congresses that are less comprehensive than the J! Archive, and Robert Schmidt, a 39-year-old patent attorney and the original architect of the website, tells me over email that the full scope of documenting Jeopardy! requires a near-insurmountable amount of work. Still, he doesn’t think he’s doing enough.

I discovered the J! Archive many years ago when I was prepping to try and be on the show (never actually made it). The website is a throwback to the “old days” of Web 1.0 and is an incredible time sink you should not even look at unless you’ve got several hours to kill.