I've been pondering for a while what was with this date "December 3, 2008" that we see attached to more or less 60 ages in UAM tab (Drizzle). I visited some ages in the past, early ages, like you mentioned, and went through the journals. The journal entries can go as far as 2005-2006 in some instance. Your post confirms that those ages were uploaded all at once on December 3, 2008 but were already circulating before that date.
To solve this particular mystery, that is the date that Dustin (re-)added all the old ages to UAM (as in, launched the modern UAM that is still in Drizzle). Instead of trying to figure out the exact day that all these ages were released, Dustin just picked the current date.
Before Drizzle UAM, there was "ULM", the Uru Library Manager, and before that was the first incarnation of UAM (no relation aside from the name).
I "only" joined this amazing community in early 2007 (gosh, that's 13 years ago), so all the things before that -- the glorious time of Until Uru, the initial Alcugs releases, the beginning of fan ages -- is lore and sagas to me. But if you have questions about anything that happened since then, in particular anything relating to the Offline KI or Alcugs or DI (or Drizzle, I guess), I'll join the others here in doing my best to respond, "to the best of my recollection".
One potentially interesting piece of history from the technical perspective is the Offline KI changelog
and the Alcugs changelog
-- but this is just the public part of it. Offline KI was developed in secret before that because Cyan didn't want such powertools out in the public, and it didn't want Shards
in public, so we ran those on private invitation-only servers. I have a secret changelog somewhere that goes back to 2007 and basically summarizes the technical history of the three Shards I ran... Deep Island and the two secret ones before it. I'll have to think about releasing that.
The second of these secret predecessors was the "Ancient City" Shard. A nice recollecation for what we did on the Shard is the age "Fena Barel", where you can find a written account (with some pictures as well) of the fan-run story that we staged around 2008.
I just ran into an age expedition on DI when testing a new age, and was so surprised to see so many people online. It's great! 5 years ago, I was half-expecting that the Shard would be dead by now due to sheer lack of interest (like, if nobody logs in to the Shard for half a year I guess we might as well shut it down). But, no, activity is increasing again thanks to initiatives like this, and I love it.
I attached a picture showing Shard activity (unique users logged in per day / week / fortnight), and as you can see this is the biggest spike since early 2017 (the spike back then was triggered by Dulcamara releasing Alabaster). Click here for full image.