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November 18, 2010

Arthur L. Norberg Travel Fund Grants

The Arthur L. Norberg Travel Fund provides short-term grants-in-aid to help scholars with travel expenses to use archival collections at the Charles Babbage Institute. Each year we plan to award two $750 grants.

The Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) is an internationally recognized research center and archives focused on the history of information technology. CBI conducts major research projects; publishes books and articles; and collects, processes, and provides open public access to the most diverse and extensive collection of archival materials on computing, software, and networking in the world. CBI collections include the records of corporations, technical and trade associations, personal papers, industry publications, oral histories, photographs, film/video, and an extensive reference library. The Norberg Travel Fund is named for CBI's founding director, Arthur L. Norberg, and is funded by generous gifts from his friends and colleagues.

List of past recipients

To Apply:

Applicants should send a 2-page CV as well as a 500-word project description that describes the overall research project, identifies the importance of specific CBI collections, and discusses the projected outcome (journal article, book chapter, museum exhibit, etc.). Applicants are strongly encouraged to examine the extensive on-line finding guides to CBI's 200-plus archival collections at www.cbi.umn.edu/collections/archmss.html. Applicants should estimate how many days they plan to use CBI collections during their visit (travel should generally be in the calendar year of the award). To be eligible, scholars will reside outside the Twin Cities metropolitan region.

Notification of awards will be made within four weeks, and travel can commence directly thereafter. Questions pertaining to collection content and access can be directed to Stephanie Crowe, CBI Archivist, at horow021@umn.edu. Please direct questions about the Arthur Norberg Travel Fund to Jeffrey Yost, CBI Associate Director, yostx003@umn.edu, 612.624.5050. For additional information, see www.cbi.umn.edu.

Materials must be submitted by email to cbi@umn.edu or postmarked no later than January 15, 2011.

Charles Babbage Institute: Norberg Travel Fund
211 Andersen Library
University of Minnesota
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

November 15, 2010

The Adelle and Erwin Tomash Fellowship in the History of Information Technology

The Charles Babbage Institute is accepting applications for the 2011-2012 Adelle and Erwin Tomash Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship will be awarded to a graduate student for doctoral dissertation research in the history of computing.

The fellowship may be held at the recipient's home academic institution, the Charles Babbage Institute, or any other location with appropriate research facilities. The stipend is $14,000. It is intended for students who have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree except the research and writing of the dissertation.

Preference will be given to applicants indicating a need to use CBI materials, planning research in residence at CBI, and willing to make a brief presentation of their research findings to CBI staff. Questions pertaining to collection content and access can be directed to Stephanie H. Crowe, CBI Archivist, at horow021@umn.edu.

Tomash Fellowship recipients must remain students in good standing throughout the term of their fellowship, but there is no restriction on holding other fellowships, scholarships, or awards concurrent to the Tomash Fellowship.

To Apply:

Applicants should send to CBI a curriculum vitae and a five-page (single-spaced) statement and justification of the research project including a discussion of methods, research materials, evidence of faculty support for the project, and bibliography (bibliography does not count toward page count).

Applicants should also arrange for three letters of reference and certified copies of graduate school transcripts to be sent directly to CBI.

Materials must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2011.

Charles Babbage Institute: Tomash Fellowship
211 Andersen Library
University of Minnesota
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Please direct questions about the Tomash Fellowship to Jeffrey Yost, CBI Associate Director, yostx003@umn.edu, 612.624.5050

August 3, 2010

Andersen Research Scholars Program

For researchers who would like to make a trip to CBI, please see this announcement for our new Elmer L. Andersen Research Scholars Program. Awards will be made for travel to use any of the collections in the department of Archives and Special Collections, including CBI. Please let me know if you have any questions.

June 22, 2009

ACM Fellowships Awarded

The Association for Computer Machinery's History Committee has
announced the two winners of its inaugural short-term fellowship in ACM
history, at least one of whom will be spending some time here at CBI:

Irina Nikiforova, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech's School of History,
Technology and Society, for her dissertation project entitled "ACM, Turing
Prize Scientists, and their Web of Affiliations." Nikiforova will examine
archival materials held at Stanford University, the University of Michigan,
and the Charles Babbage Institute as well as online ACM materials
concerning the Turing Award.

Bernard Geoghegan, a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University and Bauhaus
University--Weimar, for a specific project on "Staging the ACM Chess
Championships" which will draw on archival materials presently in private
hands. Geoghegan plans a journal article from this research as well as a
museum exhibit.

January 30, 2009

ACM History Committee

Congratulations to CBI director Tom Misa, who has joined the ACM History Committee, a committee of the Association for Computing Machinery responsible for preserving the history of ACM and the history of computing. See the press release here!

CBI Project Archivist Loralee Bloom and student assistant Valerie MacDonald are currently processing the historical records of ACM, which will be available to the public for research later this year. Please email me with any questions on its status or on research at CBI in general.

February 1, 2008

Minimal Processing Survey

If you are a researcher in archives, take a look at this post on one of my favorite archives blogs, ArchivesNext, and please consider taking the survey - I hope that it will be really useful in helping to determine future archival collection processing standards.

December 17, 2007

Zotero-Internet Archive Alliance

See this post on Dan Cohen's Digital Humanities blog for intriguing information regarding a new alliance between Zotero and the Internet Archive, whereby scholars will be able to add scholarly content to a "Zotero Commons" that everyone can access.

Thanks to the Archives Next blog for bringing this to my attention!

November 28, 2007

PhD Studentship in Amsterdam

SHOTnews.net has published a bunch of new posts on its blog, including this one about a PhD studentship in the history of computing at the University of Amsterdam.

November 27, 2007

Arthur L. Norberg Travel Fund

Please see http://www.cbi.umn.edu/research/ntravelfund.html for information about CBI's new Arthur L. Norberg Travel Fund for scholars working on a history of computing topic.

November 8, 2007

Tomash Fellowship

The Charles Babbage Institute is accepting applications for the 2008-2009 Adelle and Erwin Tomash Graduate Fellowship. The fellowship will be awarded to a graduate student for doctoral dissertation research in the history of computing.

The fellowship may be held at the recipient's home academic institution, the Charles Babbage Institute, or any other location with appropriate research facilities. The stipend is $14,000. It is intended for students who have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree except the research and writing of the dissertation.

Preference will be given to applicants indicating a need to use CBI materials, planning research in residence at CBI, and willing to make a brief presentation of their research findings to CBI staff.

Please see http://www.cbi.umn.edu/research/tfellowship.html for more information!

November 6, 2007

Footnote

For those at the University of Minnesota, the following announcement from the Libraries' listserv might be of interest:

Through November 30th, the Libraries have a trial for Footnote, a primary source database that spans American history from the Revolution to present. A large piece of their collection includes documents from the National Archives which are only available through Footnote. In addition, the database has an user interaction part where users can add their own primary sources, comment on documents already added, and work with other researchers interested in the same documents. Just go to http://www.footnote.com to try it out!

November 2, 2007

Lemelson Fellowship

Some history of computing grad students and faculty may be interested in this one that I saw on several listservs:

The Smithsonian's Lemelson Center is seeking proposals for its 2008
Fellows Program, which supports projects that present creative
approaches to the study of invention and innovation in American society.
These include, but are not limited to, historical research and
documentation projects resulting in publications, exhibitions,
educational initiatives, and multimedia products. The fellowship program
provides access to the Smithsonian's vast artifact and archival
collections, as well as the expertise of the Institution's research
staff.

The Center offers fellowships to scholars and professionals who are pre-
or postdoctoral candidates or who have completed advanced professional
training.

November 1, 2007

Wikibooks

First, there was Wikipedia. Now, there's Wikibooks, an open-content collection of textbooks on all subjects. In keeping with the spirit of Wikipedia, anyone can edit one of the textbooks. I looked specifically at the textbooks for "how to write a research paper in history" and "history of computing," and while they are pretty short and bare-bones at this point, I think the idea has potential.

Also, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts about the idea of having students write Wikipedia entries for course assignments, rather than (or along with) term papers. I know that at least one professor has implemented this idea. Would it tend to result in better output from some students, since they know that their work could be read by people "out there?" Should the results be placed indiscriminately on Wikipedia, no matter the quality of the submissions? As a student, would you prefer to write a term paper to be viewed only by your professor or TA, or to write a Wikipedia entry that could be viewed by any number of people? I'd love to see opinions from both teachers and students on this question.

October 31, 2007

Lessons from TCART

Following is a report from yesterday's TCART symposium about some things we learned that could be relevant to researchers as well as archivists!

-An archivist from Target Corporation noted that the primary client for corporate or business archives is always the corporation itself. Thus, many times public researchers will be turned away. He said not to despair, however, but try to contact a corporate archives anyway if there's a chance it has useful information for you - there's always a chance that you'll be given access.

-One panel focused on issues of security and privacy in archives. The main lesson I took from this session was that different types of archives (e.g., corporate, academic, public) have different types of access restrictions on their collections. CBI has a few restrictions on some of its collections, for instance, mainly dealing with proprietary issues for corporations. Always check the finding aids for information on restrictions - they will warn you in advance if you will not be allowed to look at the documents.

-Finally, a member of the Digital Collections Unit talked about the University of MInnesota's effort to preserve U of M web sites in our digital conservancy. If you have an interest in institutional history, definitely check out the University Digital Conservancy - it's fascinating.

October 23, 2007

IT History Society

A new (or revived) organization called the IT History Society has been established. This society was formerly the Charles Babbage Foundation (CBF), which at one point was affiliated with CBI. As its overall mission, the ITHS "intends to help the process of creating and preserving the historical record...by acting as an international information point concerning IT history." (from the web site)

The web site has some pretty interesting and useful information, including current and upcoming archival and historical projects in the history of information technology. Specific to CBI, there's also news (in the Other News section) about Jeff's appointment as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Annals of Computing . I will definitely be returning to this web site for updates, and I hope that CBI will be submitting information about its proposed and ongoing projects.

October 22, 2007

Primary Source Research

Here's a link from the University of Minnesota Libraries' web site on primary sources - what they are, how to use them, how to find them, and how to evaluate them. If you have to do a research project and aren't quite sure where to begin, this might be a good site for you.

And don't forget, CBI has a lot of both primary and secondary sources in our archives!

WorldCat

As some of you already know, WorldCat is an online library catalog that allows you to search the holdings of libraries everywhere, rather than just your own public or academic library. Before, however, the full version of WorldCat was only available through a library (that is, if I wanted to search WorldCat, I'd have to go to the University of Minnesota Libraries' home page and click on a link available there). However, it seems that WorldCat is now available on the public Internet. I looked at the "About" page and it seems that there are several features still unavailable on this version, but it looks like it could be really useful anyway. Check it out and let us know what you think.

October 15, 2007

Minnesota Digital Library

If you are interested in Minnesota history, check out the Minnesota Digital Library. This resource digitizes and provides free online access to historical photographs and documents that were supplied by libraries, archives, and museums from all around the state.

October 11, 2007

Bibliographic Software

Do you have trouble keeping track of all of the sources that you might like to use in your research? For the past couple of years, there have been several new online bibliographic tools to help you organize and cite your sources. These tools will help you create citations to articles or books in an online catalog or database, store them, and export the citations into a Word document should you decide to use them in your work.

You may have heard of RefWorks and EndNote, which have been available for several years. RefWorks is free through the University of Minnesota Libraries after you create a user name and password. (If you are on another campus, you may have a free subscription as well. Check your library's home page or talk to a librarian.) More recently, for Firefox users, a tool called Zotero was developed. Zotero, an extension for the Firefox browser, will actually sense if there is a potential resource on a web site that you are on and automatically create a citation that you can save or pass over. Along with citations, it will store web pages, PDF files, and other documents. And, it's free, whether or not you have a university account.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these services, but each of them makes keeping track of resources a lot easier than it used to be. Please feel free to comment below this post on the pros and cons to these tools.

October 10, 2007

Extended Hours

To accommodate researchers who may not be able to get here during normal working hours or who need a little extra time in the archives, Andersen Library's reading room will now be open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays. CBI may not individually remain open unless we have advance notice that someone will want to use our collections, though. So, if you'd like to come in to do some research on a Thursday evening, let us know and we'll be here.