Recent Issue: Information & Culture

New Issue: Volume 53, Number 1 (January/February 2018)

“Crises” in Scholarly Communications? Insights from the Emergence of the Journal of Library History, 1947–1966

Maria Gonzalez and Patricia Galloway
p. 3-42

This study examines the first ten years of the journal now known as Information & Culture. Founded in 1966 as The Journal of Library History, the Journal has been shaped according to the values, habits, and competencies that its contributors brought to changing circumstances so as to transform the Journal into an erudite interdisciplinary publication distant from its beginnings as a compendium of entertaining vignettes and didactic notes on the writing and uses of library history. Historical perspectives are used to frame various crises in scholarly communications that are treated chronologically as they confronted the Journal, drawing on archival sources, secondary sources, interviews, participant observation by Gonzalez, and close reading of the publication to construct a narrative about the Journal in its relation to higher education, scholarly publication, and professional and disciplinary developments in librarianship and companion fields under the increasing influence of technology on these fields. The characters, actions, and settings are interpreted through the sociological lens of Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of social field, habitus, and multiple forms of actual and metaphorical capital request government.

Maria Elena Gonzalez, after a career in architecture and building, earned a PhD in Library and Information Science (2008) from the School of Information, University of Texas-Austin, and has taught in that field at Wayne State University and Rutgers University.

Patricia Galloway spent twenty years at the Mississippi Department of Archives and history before coming to teach courses on appraisal and digital archives at the School of Information, University of Texas-Austin. She holds PhDs in Comparative Literature (1973) and Anthropology (2004) from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Reading the Minor Forest Product bulletins of the Philippine Bureau of Forestry: a case study of the role of reference works in the American Empire of the early twentieth century

Brendan Luyt
p. 43-66

Empires are built around the control of information with an often-overlooked aspect of empire building being the construction of tools of reference. These tools incorporate with them in summary form the multiplicity of inscriptions that are a product of the empire’s epistemological operations. In order to shed some light on this face of empire, this article focuses on three readings of the minor forest products bulletins published by the Bureau of Forestry of the Philippines in the early twentieth century. The first of these sees the bulletins as demonstrating the Bureau of Forestry’s mastery of the forest domain in the face of natural and human resistance to its work. In the second reading, we can see the Bureau’s efforts to create and assist “botanical entrepreneurs” capable and willing to exploit forest products in an efficient manner. Finally, we can read the bulletins as particular manifestations of the botanical guide as a genre. In this case the bulletins created a series of “inscription clusters” that served to enhance the authority of the Bureau of Forestry as a mediator between users and the forests of the Philippines.

Brendan Luyt is Associate Professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He received both his MLIS and PhD degrees from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. He also holds a MA in Political Science from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency and the Information Work of the Nineteenth-Century Surveillance State

Alan Bilansky
p. 67-84

Private security contractor for business and government, Allan Pinkerton acted centrally in early chapters of the history of the security state. The operative and the report, Pinkerton’s principal surveillance technologies, are analyzed here in relation to each other and in their historical development as information technology, drawing on Pinkerton’s fictionalized accounts of cases, secret reports and other Agency documents. Pinkerton management was consistently preoccupied with strict compliance of operatives, their deployment in a network, and the regular submission of reports. This study suggests information can lead to uncertainty and the surveillance state was and is compartmentalized, entrepreneurial, and other-than-public.

Alan Bilansky holds a PhD in Rhetoric and Democracy from Penn State and an MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he consults with faculty about technology and occasionally teaches informatics. He is currently at work on a book examining the information practices of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency.

The Literature of American Library History, 2014 – 2015

Edward Goedeken
p. 85-120

This biennial review of the writings on the history of libraries, librarianship, and information surveys about 200 publications that were published in 2014 and 2015. The essay is divided into a number of specific sections including: academic and public libraries, biography, technical services, and the history of reading and publishing. It also contains a brief list of theses and dissertations that were completed in 2014 and 2015.

Edward A. Goedeken is Professor of Library Science and Collections Coordinator at the Iowa State University Library. Over the past twenty years he has maintained an ongoing bibliography of library history scholarship, and every two years crafts a review essay for Information & Culture on the most recent writings in this discipline.

This issue of Information & Culture is now available on Project Muse.

Book Reviews (reviews are open access)

The Econimization of Life, by Michelle Murphy, reviewed by Marika Cifor 

Michelle Murphy provocatively describes the twentieth-century rise of infrastructures of calculation and experiment aimed at governing population for the sake of national economy, pinpointing the spread of a potent biopolitical logic. Resituating the history of postcolonial neoliberal technique in expert circuits between the United States and Bangladesh, Murphy traces the methods and imaginaries through which family planning calculated lives not worth living, lives not worth saving, and lives not worth being born. The resulting archive of thick data transmuted into financialized “Invest in a Girl” campaigns that reframed survival as a question of human capital. The book challenges readers to reject the economy as our collective container and to refuse population as a term of reproductive justice. (Duke University Press)

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman, reviewed by Edward Goedeken

The life and times of one of the foremost intellects of the twentieth century: Claude Shannon—the neglected architect of the Information Age, whose insights stand behind every computer built, email sent, video streamed, and webpage loaded. In this elegantly written, exhaustively researched biography, Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman reveal Claude Shannon’s full story for the first time.

Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost its Edge in Computing, by Marie Hicks, reviewed by Megan Finn

Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government’s systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce simply because they were women. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, becoming male-identified in the 1960s and 1970s, labor problems grew into structural ones and gender discrimination caused the nation’s largest computer user—the civil service and sprawling public sector—to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole. (MIT Press)

Atari Age: The Emergence of Video Games in America, by Michael Z. Newman, reviewed by Roderic Crooks

Beginning with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey and Pong in 1972, video games, whether played in arcades and taverns or in family rec rooms, became part of popular culture, like television. In fact, video games were sometimes seen as an improvement on television because they spurred participation rather than passivity. These “space-age pinball machines” gave coin-operated games a high-tech and more respectable profile. In Atari Age, Michael Newman charts the emergence of video games in America from ball-and-paddle games to hits like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, describing their relationship to other amusements and technologies and showing how they came to be identified with the middle class, youth, and masculinity. (MIT Press)

New/Recent Books

Information Systems: Process and Practice
Edited by Christine Urquhart, Faten Hamad, Dina Tbaishat, and Alison Yeoman

The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information 
by Paul Douris

Capturing Our Stories: An Oral History of Librarianship in Transition
A. Arro Smith

The Silence of the Archive
David Thomas, Simon Fowler, and Valerie Johnson

Creating Exhibits That Engage: A Manual for Museums and Historical Organizations
John Summers

Cultural Heritage Care and Management: Theory and Practice
edited by Cecilia Lizama Salvatore

Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, Second Edition
John E. Simmons

Commemoration: The American Association for State and Local History Guide
edited by Seth C. Bruggeman

An American Association for State and Local History Guide to Making Public History
edited by Bob Beatty

Fostering Empathy Through Museums
edited by Elif M. Gokcigdem

Practical Preservation and Conservation Strategies for Libraries
Brian J. Baird, illustrated by Jody Brown

Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 3rd edition
edited by Karen Attar

Linked Data for Cultural Heritage
edited by Ed Jones and Michele Seikel

Open Licensing for Cultural Heritage
Gill Hamilton and Fred Saunderson

Valuing Your Collection: A practical guide for museums, libraries and archives
Freda Matassa

New Recent Scholarship: Other Publications

Proceedings of the Association for Library and Information Science Education Annual Conference: ALISE 2018

The Copyright Permissions Culture in Software Preservation and Its Implications for the Cultural Record
Association of Research Libraries

Archiving Content from Mobile Devices: Challenges and Strategies,” SAA Case Study
Laura Alagna

Inserting librarians into the Canadian oral history conversation
Holly Hendrigan

Research and Learning Agenda for Archives, Special, and Distinctive Collections in Research Libraries” OCLC Research Report
Chela Scott Weber

The Many Faces of Digital Visitors and Residents: Facets of Online Engagement” OCLC Research Report
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Vanessa Kitzie, Erin M. Hood, and William Harvey


New Issue: Archival Science

Volume 18, Issue 1, March 2018

“If there are no records, there is no narrative”: the social justice impact of records of Scottish care-leavers
Heather MacNeil, Wendy Duff, Alicia Dotiwalla, Karolina Zuchniak

A call to rethink archival creation: exploring types of creation in personal archives
Jennifer Douglas

Archives in the trenches: repatriation of African National Congress liberation archives in diaspora to South Africa
Mpho Ngoepe, Sidney Netshakhuma

Imagining transformative spaces: the personal–political sites of community archives
Michelle Caswell, Joyce Gabiola, Jimmy Zavala, Gracen Brilmyer…

New Issue: International Journal on Digital Libraries

Volume 19, Issue 1, March 2018

Guest editors’ introduction to the special issue on web archiving
Edward A. Fox, Martin Klein, Zhiwu Xie

Focused crawler for events
Mohamed M. G. Farag, Sunshin Lee…

API-based social media collecting as a form of web archiving
Justin Littman, Daniel Chudnov…

ArchiveWeb: collaboratively extending and exploring web archive collections—How would you like to work with your collections?
Zeon Trevor Fernando, Ivana Marenzi…

Quantifying retrieval bias in Web archive search
Thaer Samar, Myriam C. Traub…

Avoiding spoilers: wiki time travel with Sheldon Cooper
Shawn M. Jones, Michael L. Nelson…

The colors of the national Web: visual data analysis of the historical Yugoslav Web domain
Anat Ben-David, Adam Amram, Ron Bekkerman

New Issue: The American Archivist

The American Archivist Volume 80 Issue 2 Fall/Winter 2017
(member, subscription)

A Quick Six Years
Gregory S. Hunter

Surveying Archivists and Their Work toward Advocacy and Management, or “Enterprise Archiving”
Sarah Buchanan, Jane Gruning, Ayse Gursoy and Lecia Barker

Harold T. Pinkett and the Lonely Crusade of African American Archivists in the Twentieth Century
Alex H. Poole

The Archive of Place and Land Art as Archive: A Case Study of Spiral Jetty
Elizabeth England

Exhibits as Scholarship: Strategies for Acceptance, Documentation, and Evaluation in Academic Libraries
Elizabeth A. Novara and Vincent J. Novara

Sweeping out the Capitol: The State Archives and the Politics of Administration in Georgia, 1921–1923
Ciaran B. Trace

#MPLP Part 1: Comparing Domain Expert and Novice Social Tags in a Minimally Processed Digital Archives
Edward Benoit III

Sex in the Archives: The Politics of Processing and Preserving Pornography in the Digital Age

Pedagogies of the Image: Photo-archives, Cultural Histories, and Postfoundational Inquiry
Katrina Windon

Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements, ESP-16-03
David Bearman

Teaching with Primary Sources
Rachel M. Grove Rohrbaugh

Building Trust in Information: Perspectives on the Frontiers of Provenance
Creighton Barrett

Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions
Kira A. Dietz

Digital Preservation Essentials
Daniel W. Noonan

City of Remembering: A History of Genealogy in New Orleans
Tanya Zanish-Belcher

Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom
Jeremy Brett

Module 8: Becoming a Trusted Digital Repository
Sibyl Schaefer

Privacy and the Past: Research, Law, Archives, Ethics
Elena S. Danielson

New Issue: SYNOPTIQUE: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies

Vol 6, No 1: Institutionalizing Moving Image Archival Training: Analyses, Histories, Theories

Christian Gosvig Olesen, Philipp Dominik Keidl

Is Film Archiving a Profession Yet? Reflections 20 years on

Is film archiving a profession yet? A reflection – 20 years on
Ray Edmondson

What Price Professionalism?
Caroline Frick

Interdisciplinarity, Specialization, Conceptualization
Eef Masson, Giovanna Fossati

What Do We Profess To?
Benedict Salazar Olgado

The History of The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation: Changing the Field
Caroline Yeager


Multiplying Perspectives
Alejandro Bachmann

Learn then Preserve
Simone Venturini

The Current Landscape of Film Archiving and How Study Programs Can Contribute
Adelheid Heftberger

Forum Section

A Look Back: The Professional Master’s Programme in Preservation and Presentation
Thomas Elsaesser

Minding the Materiality of Film: The Frankfurt Master Program
Sonia Campanini, Vinzenz Hediger, Ines Bayer

The Materiality of Heritage: Moving Image Preservation Training at HTW Berlin
Ulrich Ruedel, Martin Koerber

Upholding Tradition: The MA Program at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Oliver Hanley

Education Through International Collaboration: The Audiovisual Preservation Exchange (APEX) program
Pamela Vizner, Juana Suarez

Learning From the Keepers: Archival Training in Italian Cinematheques
Rossella Catanese

Book Reviews

Review of Film History as Media Archaeology
Giuseppe Fidotta

Review of Hollywood and the Great Depression
Andrée Lafontaine

Notes on Contributors

Notes on Contributors