New Issue: Information & Culture

Volume 54 Number 2 (May 2019)
(subscription)

Articles

Making Messages Private: The Formation of Postal Privacy and Its Relevance for Digital Surveillance
Efrat Nechushtai

Archival Automation in the United Kingdom and the Relationship between Standardization and Computerization
Jenny Bunn

Information in an Industrial Culture: Walter A. Shewhart and the Evolution of the Control Chart, 1917–1954
Phillip G. Bradford and Paul J. Miranti

Innovation in Search of a Context: The Early History of Lexis
Xiaohua Zhu

Reviews

Making IT Work: A History of the Computer Services Industry by Jeffrey R. Yost (review)
Sarah A. Bell

Weaving the Dark Web: Legitimacy on Freenet, Tor, and I2P by Robert Gehl (review)
Elinor Carmi

Open Space: The Global Effort for Open Access to Environmental Satellite Data by Mariel Borowitz (review)
Robert D. Montoya

My Life as a Spy: Investigations in a Secret Police File by Katherine Verdery (review)
Kalpana Shankar

New Issue: Information & Culture

Volume 54 Number 1 : Special Issue
(subscription)

Editor’s Note: Curated Issue of Information & CultureA Journal of History

Ciaran Trace
p. 1-3

“This special issue of Information & Culture brings together a curated set of previously published articles from the last two decades of the journal’s more than fifty-year history. These articles represent the wide scope of actors, disciplines, and viewpoints that have helped make the journal the space in which to frame and debate the nature of the information domain from a historical perspective. In new and thought-provoking essays accompanying the original articles, the authors look back on the contribution that these articles made to the intellectual life and growth of the journal and its subject matter.”

Revisiting Archival History

Richard J. Cox
p. 4-11

The Failure or Future of American Archival History: A Somewhat Unorthodox View

Richard J. Cox
Originally published: Volume 35, Number 1, 2000
p. 12-26

The quality of research on American archival history has been uneven and the quantity not very impressive. This essay reviews some of the highlights of American archival history research, especially the growing interest in cultural and public history that has produced some studies of interest to scholars curious about the history of archives. The essay also focuses more on why such research still seems so far removed from the interests of most archivists. The essay will consider some hopeful signs, such as the reemergence of records and recordkeeping systems as a core area for study, for a renewed emphasis on American archival history. While much needs to be done, I am optimistic that the golden age of historical research on American archives lies ahead.

Back to the Future of Library History

Jonathan Rose
p. 27-32

Alternative Futures for Library History

Jonathan Rose
Originally published: Volume 38, NUmber 1, Winter 2003
p. 50-60

In response to a recent article by Donald Davis and John Aho, “Whither Library History?” Jonathan Rose discusses six possible alternatives for the future of library history. Library historians can either continue to produce a traditional kind of library history or reframe their subject as a subfield of information science, mainstream history, or the history of the book. They can also adopt the models of such critical theorists as Antonio Gramsci and Michel Foucault. Rose argues for a sixth option: to make library history a part of the new academic discipline of book studies.

Still Breathing: History in Education for Librarianship

Christine Pawley
p 44-52

History in the Library and Information Science Curriculum: Outline of a Debate

Christine Pawley
Originally published: Volume 40, Number  3, Summer 2005
p. 223-238

Only a small minority of Library and Information Science (LIS) schools now schedule courses with a historical focus, and LIS faculty whose research specialty is history seem to be a vanishing breed. Yet some educators are committed to finding ways to preserve historical perspectives in the master’s degree curriculum. At the 2004 conference of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) the Historical Perspectives Special Interest Group (SIG) discussed strategies and subsequently carried on the debate in an online forum. Theoretical justifications for including history in the curriculum appealed to both generalist and specific rationales that argued for “history as story” as well as “history as process,” while practical suggestions included focusing on the preservation of documents, adopting the principles and methods of public history, and creating stronger avenues for collaboration among all historians of libraries and information science, no matter what their disciplinary affiliation. Overall, participants felt that in the current economic climate modestly
scaled efforts stood the best chance of success.

Information History: Searching for Identity

William Aspray
p. 69-75

The History of Information Science and Other Traditional Information Domains: Models for Future Research

William Aspray
Originally published: Volume 46, Number 2, 2011
p. 230-248

“It has been said that the historian is the avenger, and that standing as a judge between the parties and rivalries and causes of bygone generation she can lift up the fallen and beat down the proud, and by his exposures and his verdicts, his satire and his moral indignation, can punish unrighteousness, avenge the injured or reward the innocent.”

—Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History (1931)

Revisiting “Shaping Information History as an Intellectual Discipline”

James W. Cortada
p. 95-101

Shaping Information History as an Intellectual Discipline

James W. Cortada
Originally published: Volume 47, Number 2, 2012
p. 119-144

Information is an emerging field of interest and concern to citizens, public officials, and scholars in many disciplines. This article acknowledges that problems exist in defining the subject of information history and argues the case that the topic can be addressed in a more coherent fashion. It then poses five questions for historians to investigate with respect to this field and proposes a sequence of three strategies and an agenda for what scholars can do to make this topic a new field of inquiry called “information history,” drawing upon the historiographical experiences of other areas of historical inquiry.

Contributors

p. 127-131

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

Information & Culture: New Book Reviews

Making IT Work: A History of the Computer Services Industry by Jeffrey R. Yost
Reviewed by Sarah A. Bell

The computer services industry has worldwide annual revenues of nearly a trillion dollars and employs millions of workers, but is often overshadowed by the hardware and software products industries. In this book, Jeffrey Yost shows how computer services, from consulting and programming to data analytics and cloud computing, have played a crucial role in shaping information technology—in making IT work… (MIT Press)

Weaving the Dark Web: Legitimacy on Freenet, Tor, and I2P, by Robert Gehl
Reviewed by Elinor Carmi

The term “Dark Web” conjures up drug markets, unregulated gun sales, stolen credit cards. But, as Robert Gehl points out in Weaving the Dark Web, for each of these illegitimate uses, there are other, legitimate ones: the New York Times‘s anonymous whistleblowing system, for example, and the use of encryption by political dissidents. Defining the Dark Web straightforwardly as websites that can be accessed only with special routing software, and noting the frequent use of “legitimate” and its variations by users, journalists, and law enforcement to describe Dark Web practices (judging them “legit” or “sh!t”), Gehl uses the concept of legitimacy as a window into the Dark Web. He does so by examining the history of three Dark Web systems: Freenet, Tor, and I2P… (MIT Press)

My Life as a Spy: Investigations in a Secret Police File by Katherine Verdery
Reviewed by Kalpana Shankar

As Katherine Verdery observes, “There’s nothing like reading your secret police file to make you wonder who you really are.” In 1973 Verdery began her doctoral fieldwork in the Transylvanian region of Romania, ruled at the time by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. She returned several times over the next twenty-five years, during which time the secret police—the Securitate—compiled a massive surveillance file on her. Reading through its 2,781 pages, she learned that she was “actually” a spy, a CIA agent, a Hungarian agitator, and a friend of dissidents: in short, an enemy of Romania. (Duke University Press)

New Issue: Information & Culture

Special Double Issue: Volume 53, Number 3 & 4 (October/November 2018)
(subscription)

Bourgeois Specialists and Red Professionals in 1920s Soviet Archival Development
Kelly A. Kolar
Immediately after the 1917 October Revolution the Bolsheviks began developing the most centralized archival system in the world, along with a new profession of “red archivists.” However, the development of archives and the archival profession in 1920s Soviet Union was not simply the top-down implementation of Bolshevik political ambitions portrayed in offi cial Soviet accounts and Cold War–era Western literature but an unexpectedly open negotiation of ideas and customs among actors with diverse professional and ideological backgrounds, including non-Marxist archival professionals, workers from other cultural professions, and young communists.

The Weather Privateers: Meteorology and Commercial Satellite Data
Gemma Cirac-Claveras
This article examines the changing framework for producing satellite weather data in the United States since the 2000s, from a government function to one increasingly carried out by the private sector. It explores the controversial attempts to commercialize the production of a particular data source (atmospheric profiles obtained with radio occultation)from the perspective of executives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), members of Congress, atmospheric and climate scientists, and the private sector. It addresses their opposing arguments by focusing, in particular, on the stresses and pressures within NOAA and its resistance to acquiring such data from commercial providers. In so doing, the article discusses the connections between commercial activities and meteorology and, more generally, the relations between science and commerce.

Parallel Expansions: The Role of Information during the Formative Years of the English East India Company (1600–1623)
Gabor Szommer
This article examines the role of information in the early years of the English East India Company (EIC). It examines diff erent aspects of the organizational behavior of the EIC between the years 1600 and 1623 and shows the interplay between physical expansion and the transformation of information-handling practices from several perspectives. Although the focus is on a single organization, this case study provides insights into the informational challenges faced by early modern tradingcompanies and similar organizations coordinating operations on a global scale.-public.

Codebooks for the Mind: Dictionary Index Reforms in Republican China, 1912–1937
Ulug Kuzuoglu
Faster access to information was an overwhelming concern for Chinese reformists during the Republican era (1912–1949). They claimed that the nonalphabetical nature of Chinese characters presented obstacles to indexing, a fundamental technology for effi cient information access and retrieval. In a matter of three decades, nearly one hundred new indices were invented for Chinese characters. Competition over which indices would prevail was fierce, especially among dictionary publishers, which stood to benefi t greatly in the nascent Chinese dictionary market. This article follows the two main publishing houses in China, Commercial Press and Zhonghua Press, that invented indices in order to dominate the market from the founding of the repub -lic in 1912 to the start of the war against Japan in 1937. As dozens of inventors of indices made clear, however, indexing technologies were situated within a larger social context, and the invention and destruction of indices were sites of political and fi nancial contestation.

Book Reviews:
A Note from the Senior Book Review Editor
Amelia Acker

Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing by Marie Hicks (review)
Megan Finn

Atari Age: The Emergence of Video Games in America by Michael Z. Newman (review)
Roderic Crooks

The Economization of Life by Michelle Murphy (review)
Marika Cifor
p. 374-376

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni, Rob Goodman (review)
Edward A. Goedeken

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

CFP: Information & Culture: A Journal of History

http://www.infoculturejournal.org/submissions

Submissions
Information & Culture: A Journal of History welcomes submissions of research articles. Authors may submit a complete manuscript or may contact the editor with a proposal. You are encouraged to consult the journal’s home page, which gives an overview of the material published in Information & Culture.

Prospective authors should familiarize themselves with the broad topics covered by the journal (found on the about page) as well as the submission requirements and the peer review process. We expect authors to submit completed articles following all guidelines below. Papers that do not follow these guidelines will not be accepted for review. Please note, we do not accept papers that are currently under consideration for publication with another journal.

Content Requirements

  • Interpretive. Good history is about interpretation. Each article must have a historical thesis that is bolstered by an appropriate line of argument and credible evidence that is appropriately cited. Papers are expected to follow the methods of high-quality academic historical scholarship. Articles that are merely descriptive will not be accepted for publication.
  • Information History. All articles must be primarily historical in nature and primarily about information. If the relevance of information to the manuscript theme is not immediately clear, the author should add text as necessary to clarify the relationship, and to place the submission in a larger body of scholarship.
  • Language. Should be written in Standard English. Word choice should be precise and syntax should be clear. Articles written in a language other than grammatically correct English at a high academic level will not be considered.

Manuscript Requirements

  • Manuscript. Articles should typically range from 6,000-10,000 words. Longer articles will be considered in the context of whether the topic and treatment merits the extra length, and whether the journal has the space. Shorter articles may also be considered under certain circumstances.
  • Abstract. The article’s abstract should be no longer than 100 words and should be independent from the body of the article. Care should be taken to craft a clear and compelling abstract. Authors should bear in mind that the abstract is the first thing that the reader and any potential reviewers will see.
  • Keywords. Authors are encouraged to provide three to five keywords that capture the manuscript’s salient points. Keywords should be listed on a separate line on the title page.
  • Reviewers. Authors should submit, along with the manuscript, the names of at least two potential reviewers with expertise in the topic.
  • Endnotes. All citations should be provided as endnotes. Endnotes should be placed in a Notes section following the body of the manuscript. For a sentence with citations, there should be only one callout for all references cited within that sentence, and with few exceptions, that callout should be placed at the end of the sentence. Endnotes must be formatted electronically in MS Word and conform to “Humanities Style” in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. Notes should include all bibliographic information required by that style.
  • Acknowledgments. Acknowledgments are not required, but when included, should appear at the beginning of the Notes as an unnumbered endnote
  • Cover Sheet. Include a seperate page with article title, author name, mailing address, phone number, fax number, email address, and a 50-word biographical statement. For blind review purposes, do not include personal or institutional information on any page of the manuscript itself, including the abstract.

Manuscript Format

  • MS Word document in Times New Roman 12-point font
  • Text should follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition
  • All text should be one and a half spaced, including headings, long quotations, endnotes, and captions
  • One-inch margins on all sides
  • Page numbers in the upper right margin
  • All copy aligned left; do not justify
  • Paragraphs indented five spaces (0.25”) with a single tab
  • An extra line of space should be inserted above and below extracts, subheads, and figure/table/image callouts, but not between paragraphs
  • One space only after each period at the end of a sentence
  • Include first name and/or initial(s) of all persons when referred to in the manuscript for the first time
  • Spell out the title of an organization when first referenced, with acronym in parentheses. Acronyms may be used in all subsequent references
  • Tables should be submitted as separate MS Word files

Photos and Illustrations

  • Permissions are required for all published images. Should the article be accepted for publication, it is the responsibility of the author to obtain official written permission to reprint an image from the copyright holder or owner, including preferred wording for crediting the source of the image. Any cost involved is the responsibility of the author.
  • Figure captions should always include a source attribution and a statement of permission to use the image. Images obtained at no cost should attribute the source “Courtesy of…” while permissions obtained for a fee should state the source and “Used by permission.”
  • All images (photos, maps, or illustrations) to be included with a manuscript should be noted in the cover letter.
  • Images should be submitted as separate files (one file per image). Images submitted in Word documents are not acceptable.
  • Each image file should be at least 300 dpi at the size at which it is to be published.
  • Grayscale images in TIFF format are preferred, but most standard formats will be accepted.
  • Figure callouts should be placed in the manuscript on a separate line as Figure X Here, or similar text.
  • Figure captions should be placed at the end of the manuscript, after the Notes section.
  • The editor will make the final determination as to which images, if any, will be published.

Special Notes and Recommendations:
Non-native English speakers preparing a manuscript for submission to Information & Culture may wish to utilize one of the many professional English language editing services that specialize in academic journal manuscript preparation. Clearly written manuscripts help editorial staff and peer reviewers better evaluate the paper for its content, reducing the time required for the review process and resulting in a more competitive submission overall.

Please note, however, that the use of editing services is at the author’s own expense and does not guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted for publication in Information & Culture.

Submission Procedure
Once the manuscript meets the guidelines above, please submit via email to iceditor@ischool.utexas.edu.

New Issue: Information & Culture

Volume 53, Number 2 (April/May 2018)
(subscription)

“Crises” in Scholarly Communications?: Maturity and Transfer of the Journal of Library History to the University of Texas, 1968–1976
by Maria Gonzalez and Patricia Galloway

“Save the Cross Campus”: Library Planning and Protests at Yale, 1968–1969
by Geoffrey Robert Little

Media Prophylaxis: Night Modes and the Politics of Preventing Harm
by Dylan Mulvin

Rethinking the Call for a US National Data Center in the 1960s: Privacy, Social Science Research, and Data Fragmentation Viewed from the Perspective of Contemporary Archival Theory
by Christopher Loughnane, and William Aspray

Book Reviews, Summer 2018

Read our latest book review of: The Intellectual Properties of Learning, by John Willinsky, reviewed by Jesse Erickson.

New Issue: Information & Culture

New Issue: Volume 53, Number 2 (April/May 2018)
(subscription)

“Crises” in Scholarly Communications?: Maturity and Transfer of the Journal of Library History to the University of Texas, 1968–1976
Maria Gonzalez and Patricia Galloway

“Save the Cross Campus”: Library Planning and Protests at Yale, 1968-1969
Geoffrey Robert Little

Media Prophylaxis: Night Modes and the Politics of Preventing Harm
Dylan Mulvin

Rethinking the Call for a US National Data Center in the 1960s: Privacy, Social Science Research, and Data Fragmentation Viewed from the Perspective of Contemporary Archival Theory
Christopher Loughnane, William Aspray