New Issue: Information & Culture

Volume 58, Issue 1 (April 2023)

Present and Past: the Relevance of Information History
Laura Skouvig

This article contributes to the ongoing conversation about information history. The article argues for reformulating and pinpointing legitimacy and relevance as core issues characterizing information history and for drawing on theoretical input from historical disciplines such as conceptual history and microhistory. Different notions about history reflect how the individual historian approaches information as an object for historical scrutiny which ultimately allows for multiple research strategies. Information history also deals with traditional history topics such as structures vs. actors, change vs. continuity, and context. The article argues for seeing information history as histories of information.

This Copyright Kills Fascists: Debunking the Mythology Surrounding Woody Guthrie, “This Land is Your Land,” and the Public Domain
Dr. Jason Lee Guthrie

Advocates of an expanded public domain and less restrictive copyright policies have made Woody Guthrie a cause célèbre for their point of view. Meditations on his artistic persona are used to support their argument, as is a direct quote about copyright that is cited with surprising frequency despite lacking proper citation. This research locates the source for Guthrie’s copyright quote and corrects several false assumptions about its meaning as well as about Guthrie’s wider copyright activities. For proponents of public domain expansion that have mythologized Guthrie, this research thoroughly debunks that myth.

Federal Support For The Development Of Speech Synthesis Technologies: A Case Study Of The Kurzweil Reading Machine
Sarah A. Bell

This case study situates an early text-to-speech computer developed for blind persons, the Kurzweil Reading Machine (KRM), within a broader history of speech synthesis technologies. Though typically no more than a footnote in the technical history of speech synthesis, I show that the KRM was still a powerful symbol of innovation that reveals how disability can be used as a pretext for funding technology development. I argue that various boosters held the KRM up as a symbol of technological solutionism that promised to fully enroll blind people into the US political economy. However, the success of the KRM as a symbol belies its technical flaws, the federal subsidies needed to bring it to fruition, and the structural barriers to its use that were elided by its utopian promise.

Care and Feeding for the Computer: Imagining Machines’ Preventive Care and Medicine
Rachel Plotnick

This article investigates how computing discourses, including user guides, news articles, and advertisements, urged personal computer users in the 1970s and 80s to preventively care for their devices. Through hygiene recommendations related to eating, drinking, and dusting, these discourses warned that computers’ “health” depended upon humans. Importantly, they interpreted care as individual responsibility by putting the onus on users to behave properly. Within this frame, such texts described repairs as unfortunate medical interventions resulting from neglect. The piece argues that computing discourses have historically defined “care” and “repair” in opposition, as acts of doting prevention and undesirable intervention respectively.

An Introduction to Dr. Husam Khalaf’s “The Cultural Genocide of the Iraqi and Jewish Archives and International Responsibility”
translated and edited by Amanda Raquel Dorval

This is an Arabic-to-English translation of Dr. Husam Abdul Ameer Khalaf’s article “The Cultural Genocide of the Iraqi and Jewish Archives and International Responsibility.” Khalaf contends that the loss of Iraqi archives after Saddam Hussein’s fall and subsequent US Occupation in 2003 was cultural genocide. The first part of the article focuses on the losses suffered by official archives, national archives, the Ba’ath party archives, and the Iraqi-Jewish Archive. The second discussion examines the international laws governing the protection of cultural heritage and the extent to which the US-led Multinational Force was responsible for the loss of Iraqi archives.

Trusted Eye: Post-World War II Adventures of a Fearless Art Advocate by Claudia Fontaine Chidester (review)

A fascinating book, rich in archivalia, anecdotes, and insight, Trusted Eye documents the life and career of Virginia Fontaine (né Hammersmith, 1915-1991), “one of the most important promotors of art among the members of the American occupation forces” in immediate post-Second World War Germany.

Lightning Birds: An Aeroecology of the Airwaves by Jacob Smith (review)

Jacob Smith’s Lightning Birds: An Aeroecology of the Airwaves is an accessible work about an esoteric topic—the “aerosphere” as a contact point between birds and radio broadcasts. Smith traces an overlapping history of ornithology and radio, transforming a whimsical observation about the sky into a persuasive and often entertaining case for thinking about media technologies ecologically, in relation to animals and earthly processes.

Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork by Whitney Trettien (review)

With the rapid development of book history as a discipline, recent work has focused on breaking down the book’s elements, forms, genres, and agents into discrete units for close study; zooming in on titlepages, frontispieces and indices, for example, or singling out exceptional publishers, illustrators, and binders. Whitney Trettien’s new book and digital project is a much-needed step back that explores how these delineations obscure the messy world of “bookwork”.

Useful Objects: Museums, Science, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century America by Reed Gochberg (review)

In Useful Objects: Museums, Science, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century America, Reed Gochberg offers an engaging analysis of informational institutions during a period of change across the nineteenth-century. Gochberg, whose background is in American literature and culture, draws from a variety of sources, including children’s literature, travel guides, and newspaper advertisements, in order to show the breadth of nineteenth-century people thinking and writing about collection and presentation practices related to the newly conceptualized exhibition and research space.

Data Lives: How Data are Made and Shape our World by Rob Kitchin (review)

As we become more swaddled by data in our everyday lives, it becomes almost impossible to fully comprehend its impact and potential outcomes in the future. In Data Lives, Rob Kitchin takes a novel approach to examine a complex topic that is data. Instead of choosing a traditional academic writing style, Kitchin blends fictional and personal stories to explain how data are produced, processed and interpreted, as well as the consequences of these actions.

Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age by Dennis Duncan (review)

More often than not, today’s book indexes are afterthoughts. Typeset at the last second lest the pagination shift, squeezed into narrow columns, and tucked into the back of the book, the index is an unassuming, if obligatory, part of your average non-fiction text. Taken for granted as long as it does its job, the index tends to draw attention only where it fails, missing or mislabeled entries sending readers on a wild goose chase through the pages. While the index is certainly a crucial piece of information technology, it is more than a mere tool; it is a site of comedy and controversy, of poetry and wit. Or so Dennis Duncan, a lecturer in English at University College London, argues in Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age.

A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture by Jason Lustig (review)

What does it mean for the marginalized and the persecuted to control their data, and thus shape their destiny? In his book, A Time to Gather: Archives and the Control of Jewish Culture, Jason Lustig explores this very twenty-first-century question through the lens of the history of twentieth-century Jewish archives.

New Issue: Manuscript and Text Cultures

Vol. 2 No. 1 (2023): Navigating the text: textual articulation and division in pre-modern cultures
(open access)

Editorial article

Introduction: navigating complex texts from pre-modern cultures in the digital age
Yegor Grebnev, Lesley Smith


Navigating early Chinese daybook divination manuals
Christopher J. Foster

Structuring astral science: a Demotic astrological manual from Graeco-Roman Egypt (Berlin, Egyptian Museum, P. Berlin 8345)
Andreas Winkler

A trilingual sales contract on papyrus from Roman Arabia (P.Yadin I 22)
Michael Zellmann-Rohrer

The page architecture of a deluxe Arabic dictionary from Islamic Spain
Umberto Bongianino

Legally binding: the textual layout of a copper-plate grant from South Asia
Francesco Bianchini

The Karlevi runestone
Heather O’Donoghue

Cambridge, Trinity College, MS B.5.4, folio 135v: the Psalms, with commentary by Peter Lombard
Lesley Smith

Reading Ancient Maya hieroglyphic books
Christian Prager

MS Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, Parm. 3852: a meeting point for a medieval Ethiopian king-usurper with modern pro-Italian actors
Nafisa Valieva

New/Recent Publications


Archiving Cultures, Heritage, Community and the Making of Records and Memory, by Jeannette A. Bastian (Routledge, March 2023).

The Sunday Paper: A Media History. 
Paul S. Moore, Sandra Gabriele. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2022

Moroccan Other-Archives: History and Citizenship after State Violence
Brahim El Guabli (Fordham University Press, 2023)


Kaspar Beelen, Jon Lawrence, Daniel C S Wilson, David Beavan, Bias and representativeness in digitized newspaper collections: Introducing the environmental scan, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Volume 38, Issue 1, April 2023, Pages 1–22,

Lucia Giagnolini, Marilena Daquino, Francesca Mambelli, Francesca Tomasi, Exploratory methods for relation discovery in archival data, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Volume 38, Issue 1, April 2023, Pages 111–126,

Patricia Martin-Rodilla, Cesar Gonzalez-Perez, Same text, same discourse? Empirical validation of a discourse analysis methodology for cultural heritage, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, Volume 38, Issue 1, April 2023, Pages 224–239,

Ana Roeschley, “Symbiosis or friction: Understanding participant motivations for information sharing and institutional goals in participatory archive initiatives,” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 2023.

Menhour, H., Şahin, H. B., Sarıkaya, R. N., Aktaş, M., Sağlam, R., Ekinci, E., & Eken, S. (2023). Searchable Turkish OCRed historical newspaper collection 1928–1942. Journal of Information Science49(2), 335–347.

Diulio, M. de la P., Gardey, J. C., Gomez, A. F., & Garrido, A. (2023). Usability of data-oriented user interfaces for cultural heritage: A systematic mapping study. Journal of Information Science49(2), 359–372.

He, Y., & Chen, Z. (2023). Mass aesthetic changes in the context of the development of world museums. Journal of Information Science, 49(2), 519–528.

Pacios, A. R., & Martínez-Cardama, S. (2023). Transparency in Spanish archive and library websites: A comparative study. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science55(1), 99–110.

Tyagi, S. (2023). Preservation and conservation of indigenous manuscripts. IFLA Journal49(1), 143–156.

Li, Rankang, et al. “Text Detection Model for Historical Documents Using CNN and MSER,” Journal of Database Management (JDM) 34, no.1: 1-23.


Robert C. Schwaller, ed. African Maroons in Sixteenth-Century Panama: A History in Documents. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2021. xvii + 285 pp. $34.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8061-6933-0.
Reviewed by Daniel Nemser (University of Michigan)

New Issue: Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals

Volume 19 Issue 1, March 2023

The Legacy of Welsh Botanist Jessie Gwendoline O’Callaghan (née Insole; 1882–1932)
Michael Statham, Heather Pardoe, Vanessa Cunningham

New Life for a Legacy: The La Verne Historical Society and Inman Conety’s 1938 International Truck
Benjamin Jenkins, Sherry Best

“Impressive Miniature Scenes Full of Life and Humour”: The Interpretation of Netsuke at the Museum Folkwang 2010 to 2021
Ryan Nutting

Preservation of Audiovisual Collections at Albert Ilemobade Library, Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
Oluwole Ejiwoye Rasaki, Adeola Oyebisi Egbedokun, Akeem Adedayo Adedimeji

“Of War Tanks and Military Memorabilia”: A Look at the Conservation of Military Collections at the Zimbabwe Military Museum (ZMM)
Simbarashe Shadreck Chitima, Amos Zevure

Book Review: Narratives of (Dis)Enfranchisement: Reckoning with the History of Libraries and the Black and African American Experience and Narratives of (Dis)Engagement: Exploring Black and African American Students’ Experiences in Libraries
Katharine Chandler

Book Review: A Cultural Arsenal for Democracy: The World War II Work of U.S. Museums
Alexa Cummins

Book Review: Metadata for Digital Collections, A How-To-Do-It Manual
Susan A. Barrett

New Issue: Archival Issues

The newest issue of the Midwest Archives Conference’s journal, Archival Issues, is now available! This issue (42.1) includes three full-length articles and seven publication reviews.

The entire issue can be viewed online in MAC’s open access repository:…

Featured Articles:

“Amplifying Civil Rights Collections with Oral Histories: A Collaboration with Alumni at Queens College, City University of New York” by Annie Tummino and Victoria Fernandez 

“Understanding History, Building Trust, and Sharing Appraisal Authority: Engaging Underrepresented Student Groups through Culture Centers” by Jessica Ballard and Cara Bertram 

“Situating Community Archives Along the Continuum of Community-Engaged Archival Praxis: Autonomy, Independence, and the Archival Impulse” by Lindsay Kistler Mattock and Aiden M. Bettine

Thank you to the authors, reviewers, editors, and others whose excellent work made this issue possible.

Best regards,

Brandon T. Pieczko

Archival Issues Editorial Board Chair

New Issue: Archives and Records

Archives and Records, 44 (2023)
Special Issue: New Professional and Student Research


Establishing special collections literacy for undergraduate students: an investigation into benefits and barriers of access
Joanna Baines

The ghosts of old readers: social media, representation and gender in the information sector
Gabrielle Bex

Preserving Ancient Egyptian cultural heritage: an examination of the role of egyptological archives
Alix Robinson

Grave concerns: the state of public cemetery records management in South Africa
Marie-Louise Rouget

Engagement with decolonizing archival practices in the UK archives sector: a survey of archives workers’ attitudes
Flore Janssen

‘It’s good for them to feel stretched’: collaborative volunteer projects at the Staffordshire Record Office
Helen Houghton-Foster

Re-animation and interrogation: Irish visual and performing artists’ encounters with the archive
Jennifer Branigan

Book Reviews

Records of the Jesus Guild in St Paul’s Cathedral, c.1450-1550: an edition of Oxford, Bodleian MS Tanner 221, and associated material
edited by Elizabeth A. New, Woodbridge, The Boydell Press for the London Record Society, 2022, xvi + 311 pp., £60 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-90095-262-3 (London Record Society Publications, Volume LVI)
Anthony Smith

Sustainable Enterprise Strategies for Optimizing Digital Stewardship: A Guide for Libraries, Archives, and Museums
by Angela Fritz, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2021, xv, 95 pp, £30 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-5381-4286-8
Rachel MacGregor

Trinity College Library Dublin: a descriptive catalogue of manuscripts containing Middle English and some Old English
by John Scattergood, Niamh Pattwell and Emma Williams, Four Courts Press, 2021, xxxvii + 367 pp., €55 (hardback),ISBN 978-1-84682-852-2
Jade Godsall

Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Cultures and connections
edited by Claire Breay and Joanna Story, with Eleanor Jackson, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2021, xviii + 242 pp., €65 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-84682-866-9
Richard Wragg

Economic considerations for libraries, archives and museums
edited by Lorraine A. Stuart, Thomas F. R. Clareson and Joyce Ray, Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY, Routledge, 2022, 238 pp., £29.59 (eBook), ISBN 978-1-003-03710-1
Louise Ray

New/Recent Publications


Sunil Tyagi, “Preservation and conservation of indigenous manuscripts,” IFLA Journal, 49 no. 1 (2023): 143–156.

Ana Roeschley, “Symbiosis or friction: Understanding participant motivations for information sharing and institutional goals in participatory archive initiatives,” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 2023.

Naiman, J.P., Williams, P.K.G. & Goodman, A. “The digitization of historical astrophysical literature with highly localized figures and figure captions.” International Journal of Digital Libraries (2023).

dos Santos, E.A., Peroni, S. & Mucheroni, M.L. “Referencing behaviours across disciplines: publication types and common metadata for defining bibliographic references.” 

Naiman, J.P., Williams, P.K.G. & Goodman, A. “The digitization of historical astrophysical literature with highly localized figures and figure captions.” International Journal of Digital Libraries (2023).


Virginie Rey. Mediating Museums: Exhibiting Material Culture in Tunisia (1881–2016). Studies in the History and Society of the Maghrib Series. Leiden: Brill, 2019

New Issue: Archival Science

Archival Science, Volume 23, issue 1, March 2023

Farewell and thank you to Beth Yakel; welcome to Fiorella Foscarini
Karen AndersonGillian Oliver

Archives and the Digital World
Ricardo L. Punzalan

US–soviet fisheries research during the cold war: data legacies
Adam KriesbergJacob Kowall

The representation of NARA’s INS records in Ancestry’s database portal
Katharina Hering

In search of the item: Irish traditional music, archived fieldwork and the digital
Patrick Egan

The impact of the shift to cloud computing on digital recordkeeping practices at the University of Michigan Bentley historical library
Dallas PillenMax Eckard

Digital knowledge sharing: perspectives on use, impacts, risks, and best practices according to Native American and Indigenous community-based researchers
Diana E. Marsh

“The only way we knew how:” provenancial fabulation in archives of feminist materials
Jessica M. Lapp

New Publications

Museum Management: Opportunities and Threats for Successful Museums (Arts, Research, Innovation and Society).
Milan Jan. Půček, František. Ochrana, Michal. Plaček
Springer, 2022

Technology and the Historian: Transformations in the Digital Age
Crymble, A.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2021

Copyright and Streaming Audiovisual Content in the US Context
Danielle Cooper and Katherine Klosek
Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Ithaka S+R, 2023

Scoping Skills and Developing Training Programme for Managing Repository Services in Cultural Heritage Organisations
Holt, Ilkay; Miles, Susan; Marples, Alice; Kaur, Kirrn; Cope, Jez
British Library, 2022

Bernasconi, E., Ceriani, M., Mecella, M. et al. Design, realization, and user evaluation of the ARCA system for exploring a digital library. Int J Digit Libr (2022).

Copyright and Streaming Audiovisual Content in the US Context
Danielle Miriam Cooper, Katherine Klosek
ITHAKA S+R, 2023

A*CENSUS II: Archives Administrators Survey
Makala Skinner
ITHAKA S+R, 2023

The Digital Decisive Moment: Transformative Digitization Practices
Margot Note
Lucidea, 2023

Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Transition: Changes, Challenges, and Convergence in a Scandinavian Perspective
Edited By Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen, Kerstin Rydbeck, Håkon Larsen
Routledge, 2023

Amanda Furiasse, “Sailing on Encrypted Seas: The Archive and Digital Memory in African and Diasporic Futurism,” Journal of Cultural Analytics Vol. 7, Issue 4, 2022.

Library Impact Research Report: A Toolkit for Demonstrating and Measuring Impact of Primary Sources in Teaching and Learning
Clare Withers, Diana Dill, Jeanann Haas, Kathy Haines, and Berenika Webster.
Association of College and Research Libraries, 2022


ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives, Vol. 41 (2022)

Golden bulb covered with a dark cloth: memories of undocumented athletes in South Africa
Joseph Matshotshwane; Mpho Ngoepe

Website as a gateway for the provision of public archives and records management guidance
a Botswana – South Africa comparison
Olefhile Mosweu

Digitisation of audio-visual archives at the National Archives of Zimbabwe
Amos Bishi

Covid-19, a catalyst or disruptor? comprehending access to records and archives under the new normal
Simbarashe Manyika, Peterson Dewah

E-records guidance tools in records sharing at Tanzania Public Service College
Chiku M Chang’a, Kardo J Mwilongo

Management of electronic records in the South African public sector
Mpubane Emanuel Matlala, Asania Reneilwe Maphoto

Factors influencing access to archives at Botswana National Archives and Records Services
Manyeke Manek, Tshepho Mosweu

Records management in an ISO certified environment: a case study of Botho University in Botswana
Koketsego Sini Pitsonyane, Nathan Mnjama

Customer satisfaction in records management at Botswana Examinations Council
Gladness Richard, Priti Jain

Archiving the voices of the once voiceless: strategies for digital preservation of oral history at the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Archives
Mbongeni Tembe (Malokotha), Zawedde Nsibirwa

Infrastructure for the implementation of artificial intelligence to support records management at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa
Mashilo Modiba, Patrick Ngulube, Ngoako Marutha

Digital records management practices in the public sector in Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe
Oscar Sigauke

Embedding digital preservation strategies in the management of institutional repositories in South Africa
Lungile Luthuli

Records management system at the eNews Channel Africa
Nduduzo Simphiwe Sithole, Isabel Schellnack-Kelly