This spring, MITH worked with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) to bring renowned technology scholar Andy van Dam to campus for two successful events. The first, on Monday April 25th, was a screening of a recently-unearthed 1974 documentary made at the end of an
Since 1967, when my students and I, collaborating with Theodor Nelson, built the Hypertext Editing System on an IBM /360 mainframe, I’ve been involved with building a succession of hypermedia systems primarily but not exclusively for the humanities. I will begin this talk with a brief description of the history of this work at
This Digital Dialogue is also a launch event for Matthew Kirschenbaum's new book Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, sponsored by the English department's Center for Literary and Comparative Studies. Neil Fraistat will be on hand to host, and discuss the book with Matt. Copies will be available! About the Book: The story of
This screening features Brown University's Andy van Dam and his 1974 documentary about an NEH-funded project to "support an experimental program to teach a college-level English poetry course, utilizing a new form of computer based 'manuscript,' called a hypertext." The screening is followed by a panel discussion and Q&A, moderated by MITH's Matt Kirschenbaum.
Books and shows about the history of information technology have usually focused on great inventors and technical breakthroughs, from Charles Babbage and Alan Turing to Steve Jobs and the World Wide Web. Computer operations work has been written out of the story, but without it no computer would be useful. Information historians Thomas Haigh and
The study of computational media still has far to go when it comes to contradicting the solo white male inventor myths that are often reified in mainstream culture, although recent work in media archaeology that emphasizes the manual labor of participants with the apparatus is changing the narrative about the rise of software culture. It
The Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies was an online, not-for-profit organization whose purpose was to research, teach, support, and create diverse and dynamic elements of cyberculture. Collaborative in nature, RCCS sought to support ongoing conversations about the emerging field, to foster a community of students, teachers, scholars, explorers, and builders of cyberculture, and to showcase various models, works-in-progress, and on-line projects. As of 2002, the site contained a collection of scholarly resources, including university-level courses in cyberculture, events and conferences, an extensive annotated bibliography, and two full-length book reviews each month. RCCS was originally founded by David Silver in 1996 at UMD, and became part of a MITH Networked Associate Fellowship awarded to Silver in 2000-2001.
Flare Productions is a not-for-profit filmmaking organization. Professor John Fuegi (with partner Jo Francis), completed a 2001 MITH Faculty Fellowship for which they produced a film as part of the Women of Power series of films, a series of thirteen films which showcase the accomplishments of women over the last 150 years. They completed one film in the series, entitled They Dreamed Tomorrow, chronicling the contributions of Ada, Countess Lovelace (1815-1852), Lord Byron’s daughter, and Charles Babbage (1791-1871) to the early history of computing. Fuegi and Francis also produced a website and DVD to complement the film.
MITH's Vintage Computers is a website devoted to MITH's sizable (and growing) collection of vintage computers, retro software, and other artifacts from the early era of personal computing. The centerpiece of the site is a considered metadata and modeling approach to computing hardware, whereby individual components of the vintage machines are documented, contextualized within their relation to the system as a whole, and expressed using Dublin Core. The site gathers links to other recent MITH projects in born-digital cultural heritage, and serves as a clearing house for our expanding portfolio in this area. It also includes newly written non-specialist’s documentation for the FC5025 Floppy Disk Controller, a device used to retrieve data off of obsolescent media formats.
MITH received the gift of Deena Larsen's personal collection of early-era personal computers and software in May 2007. Deena is an author and new media visionary who has been active in the creative electronic writing community nearly since its inception in the 1980s. In addition to being a writer and thinker, Deena has also been a collector and an amateur archivist (or, as we say of amateurs, a hoarder). Deena's collection at MITH furnishes us with invaluable source material which will further both our in-house research in digital curation and preservation, as well as function as a primary resource for researchers interested in early hypertext and electronic literature.