MITH’s Vintage Computers

This archive starts off with a history of the archive and a side link that contains 2 individual archives. One was made by “Matthew Kirschenbaum” and the other by “Doug Reside.” Each archive contains vintage computing equipment as well as documentation and pictures about each artifact. As for these two archives there are two ways to access the data. One is by a convenient search bar on the side and the other is a page view list of artifacts.

“To archive documents is to enclose them in a complex of protected spaces, including stone or metal boxes, or in folders between pieces of acid-free paper. To archive, ultimately, is to catalog and subject to bibliographical determination” – Werner/Voss. MITH’s Vintage Computers boldly takes on the name of ‘archive’ when it catalogs and protects these old documents in protected spaces, just at Werner/Voss said. By taking on this tasks, they have made this into an archive whether or not that was the original intent


2 thoughts on “MITH’s Vintage Computers

  1. I agree, this is absolutely an archive regardless of intent. It is the kind of archive “not assembled behind stone walls but suspended in a liquid element behind a luminous screen.” This digital archive in particular showcases a great deal of tagging and metadata including links to multiple formats of XML files, images, serial and part numbers – and some of those XML files are so detailed as to include tags that denote pieces with silicon.

    Not only is this a digital archive, it’s a digital archive largely made up of devices used as interfaces of digital archives. Disk drives, OS’es, and components like the Apple IIe 80-Column Text Card were used for accessing digital archives among other things. A certain irony can be seen in this which leads to a question: what comes after the digital, if anything? When will we access an archive of the digital using something beyond digital?

  2. Meta – This discussion did a good job of pointing out some of the more unique aspects of the MITH archive, as well as talking about how archives are changing in the digital age. Also, the original post made a good comment on how an archive doesn’t even need to “intend” to be an archive to still fit the description.

    The follow-up comment did a good job discussing how this archive made good use of digital-only features, such as tagging and meta data. The respondent also took the conversation forward, pointing out how the archive was digitally archiving the devices used to make the original digital archives, which I thought was a very interesting point.

    Finally, the question was raised about “something beyond the digital”, which is a surprisingly complex idea, especially after our in-class discussion about how hard it is to tell what is and is not digital.

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