30 Jan 2011

What He Wrote and Where He Wrote It

Alison Harvey, Assistant Archivist at Cardiff University drew our attention to an article on the site The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian discussing the Rushdie archive that was so frequently debated at the conference.

What he wrote and where he wrote it

The article ends with the following suggestion:

"“Fifty years from now,” as Erica Farr, director of born-digital initiatives at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory suggested, “people may be researching how the impact of word processing affected literary output.” If they do, collections like Rushdie’s, the fifty 5 ¼-inch floppy disks John Updike sent to Harvard before he died, and Norman Mailer’s archive at the Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin (which includes 349 computer disks, 47 electronic files, 40 CDs, six mini data cartridges, three laptop computers, and one Ampex magnetic tape spool) will, no doubt, provide unprecedented insights into the working process of writers in the early digital era. That is, of course, if the digital material stored on what is almost-certain-to-become-obsolete technology remains decipherable and accessible. But that suggests another story, and the content for another blog post, somewhere down the road . . ."

Article on John Updike archive

Link to Normal Mailer's archive