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Faculty Research

EVA Initiative

The Evolving Archives (EVA) Initiative, led by Joanne Kaczmarek and Ellen Swain, is testing new approaches to archives in the digital age, with a particular focus on self-generated oral histories.




The myKive “My Archive” project, led by Chris Prom, seeks to develop a general purpose ‘archiving’ tool for personal email, social media records, and other fugitive materials that are stored in multiple locations, and to make those records useful, using visualization tools.  The project is funded by the Library’s Innovation Fund, and we are currently hiring a programer to assist with the development of the software.

Web Archiving–information coming soon

Usability Testing–information coming soon.

Grant Projects

Heinz von Foerster (left) and W. Ross Ashby (right), found in record series 39/1/11, box 3.

The Cybernetics Thought Collective: A History of Science and Technology Portal Project

The University of Illinois Archives has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a prototype web-portal and analysis-engine to provide access to archival material related to the development of the iconic, multi-disciplinary field of cybernetics. The grant is part of the NEH’s Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Foundations program. The project, entitled “The Cybernetics Thought Collective: A History of Science and Technology Portal Project,” is a collaborative effort among several academic units at the University of Illinois (U of I) and three other institutions that also maintain archival records vital to the exploration of cybernetic history: the British Library, the American Philosophical Society, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to supporting the development of a web-portal and analysis-engine, the award will enable the multi-institutional team to begin digitizing some of the archival records related to the pioneering work of U of I Electrical Engineering Professor Heinz von Foerster and his fellow cyberneticians W. Ross Ashby (also a former U of I Electrical Engineering faculty member), Warren S. McCulloch, and Norbert Wiener.

To learn more about the project, visit: https://archives.library.illinois.edu/thought-collective/.

“The Cybernetics Thought Collective: A History of Science and Technology Portal Project” has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

From Margin to Center: Reframing the History of Women in Computing and Information Technology through Oral Histories

Computer typewriter operator Caroline Brown, found in record series 39/2/20, box 177.

The ACM History Committee has generously funded a one-year oral history project to capture the voices and stories of women in computing, contribute to research materials on ACM, and, more generally contribute to documentation projects on women in computing and STEM. From May 2017 through April 2018, archivist Bethany Anderson will conduct six oral history interviews with women faculty in the Department of Computer Science and IT professionals on campus. With the help of a graduate assistant, the interviews will be transcribed and indexed in the University of Illinois Archives’ new oral history portal, “Voice of Illinois,” using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS). All interviews will also be preserved in the University of Illinois Library’s long-term digital preservation repository, Medusa.