Volume 48, number 3 (August-September 2013)
Expert Records: Nautical Logbooks from Columbus to Cook
Situating the early modern nautical logbook and its northern European users within the histories of information, scientific observation, and expertise, this survey highlights the interdependence of utility and credibility on the high seas, and the pitfalls of interdisciplinarity. Although navigators developed the logbook with practical concerns in mind, toward the close of the seventeenth century administrators in England, France, and the Netherlands co-opted it for more idealized ends. Their thirst for detail sparked resistance from practitioners, who began to subvert the very shipboard routines that had once authenticated the daily reports. Despite the logbook’s eventual ubiquity, I argue that it ultimately failed as an epistemic tool, and thus serves as a suggestive counterexample to the prevailing progressive histories of observation.
The Widow's Mite: Hannah Mather Crocker and the Mather Libraries
On his death in 1785, Rev. Samuel Mather left behind books and manuscripts collected over more than 150 years by four generations of Mather ministers. He bequeathed them to the next of his descendants to enter the ministry, but his daughter, Hannah Mather Crocker, ended up in control. She used her father’s library to barter access to learned circles and resources, negotiating with historians, scholars, Bowdoin College, and the American Antiquarian Society. Her access to the library, and ability to dispose of it, fueled her publications advocating for women's rights and female education, showcasing the close relationship between her resources, access, and advocacy.p>
Before and After Networked Science
The appearance of the Philosophical Transactions in 1665 marked the emergence of scientific journals as the dominant mode for dissemination of research and discoveries. The journal system served numerous fundamental needs within the scientific community and encouraged a climate of increased sharing of knowledge. As the rhetoric of scientific discourse evolved over time, a highly stable format emerged to govern the research article as a genre. In the contemporary era of networked science, however, informal scientific communication is also growing in importance as researchers turn to online collaborative tools for even more rapid sharing of results and work in progress. p>
Karen F. Gracy
The Evolution and Integration of Moving Image Preservation Work into Cultural Heritage Institutions
This paper explores the historical roots and evolving nature of moving image preservation practice in library and archival environments from the 1910s through the 1990s. Accounts of this period often focus on the development of moving image archives as separate institutions, and spend minimal effort contemplating the growing awareness and development of preservation principles for motion picture collections in the larger library and archival communities. In actuality, information and records professionals often sought practical information about the care and handling of motion pictures in their collections and frequently drew upon the expertise of the motion picture industry and scientific community for guidance and best practices.