Assignment #4: Describing Archives in a Common Way

Kenny Martin

Info 256-10

An archives is a space (it can be a building, multiple buildings, or even just a room or part of a building) designed to keep materials such as physical papers, artifacts, movie recordings, sound recordings, and computer files, among other things, safe and accessible to people forever, or at the very least as long as possible. There are several different types of archives, each focusing on specific types of materials to collect. For example, an archive might only collect records for an organization they are a part of (emails, meeting minutes, reports, patents, etc.) or an archive might only collect and preserve video games.

Earlier I mentioned an archives being a space designed for preservation of specific materials, and this means much more than simply being a space dedicated to place the materials. Everything from the temperature and climate, to the types of containers and shelves used to box and hold the materials, and even to the types of plants allowed to grow near the building (certain types of plants can attract insects that feed on paper). Physical materials, such as wood, paper and even human hands have chemicals in them that can lead to the deterioration of materials if not maintained and handled with proper care, such as keeping the temperature and humidity not too high, storing paper in metal cabinets as opposed to wood, and wearing specially-made archival gloves when touching materials.

In addition to physical materials, archives can (and usually are) tasked with preserving access to digital files, and this takes special training More

Assignment 3: Scope and Content Note and Container List

Eric Theodore Carlson papers

Scope and Content Note

This is a collection of correspondences, army documents, and school documents belonging to Eric Theodore Carlson (who went by the name of Ted) dated 1944 – 1947 (bulk 1944 – 1946). These documents primarily describe Carlson’s daily routines and leisure activities from his time at Iowa State College, Fort Snelling (army stint), Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, MI, and Monsanto Laboratories in Dayton OH. Towards the later part of the collection, Carlson talks about his concerns with atomic energy, his involvement with the atomic bomb, and his legislative push for the McMahon Bill. More

Abstract and Biographical Note


This is primarily a collection of correspondences (letters) between Eric Theodore Carlson and his parents as well as his lab co-workers. The letters take place during his college years, his time in the army, and also the period when he was a research assistant chemist in Dayton, OH.

Biographical Note

Eric Theodore Carlson, who went by “Ted,” was born in 1922 or 1923 and presumably grew up in Middletown, CT. He received his B.A. in organic chemistry from Wesleyan University (located in Middletown, CT) in February of 1944, graduating with high distinction and Phi Beta Kappa honors.

In August of 1944, Carlson reported for duty in the army, where he reached the rank of private before leaving in March of 1946. Afterward, he accepted a research assistant chemist position at the Monsanto Chemical Company in Dayton, OH. By mid-1946, Carlson was convinced of the destructive power of atomic energy, and spoke about it both publicly and in private.

Visit an Archives

Kenny Martin

Info 256

Visit an Archives


For my visit an archives assignment I toured the Stanford University archives, which is composed of three main divisions: Special collections, rare books, and the university archives. My tour guide was Daniel Hartwig, who is one of the university’s archivists. During my tour I saw the area where rare books are shelved, the lab where media such as cassette tapes are digitized, and also the room where materials are stored until they are sent to the archive’s off-site storage facility. Hartwig estimates that roughly 95-99% of the archive’s collection, which when put together measures roughly 30,000 linear feet and is composed mostly of paper documents, is located at their off-site facility. The items that remain at the archives on the Stanford campus are heavy-use items and items that are very fragile, because they would be put at extra risk by transportation. Some of the really neat items to be found at the archives include the Eadweard Muybridge photos of a horse in motion that contributed greatly to motion picture technique as well as some of Charles Darwin’s original books (these are locked inside of display cabinets). In addition to the off-site storage facility, there is also a technical services, processing and cataloging facility located in Redwood City. I thought it might be a challenge for the archives to have so much of their collection off-site and also their processing staff and materials as well, but Hartwig said the process for transporting items has been streamlined to such an extent that it is not actually much of a bother. Among the three sites and multiple departments, the archives averages between 15-20 staff, who all work roughly the same hours, which is manageable for the operation and maintenance of the collections but Hartwig wishes there was more money for increased staff. A lot of the funding for staff positions comes via grants, which pay for positions for two to three years at a time.

The archive’s patrons are fairly evenly split between two groups: The students/faculty, who use the facility during the school year, and the More


Your first glimpse of the underwater metropolis of Rapture, a land of broken dreams and twisted nightmares.

Bioshock reveals what happens when a society places greater emphasis on scientific progress and pleasure than on morals. The underwater city of Rapture is one man’s dream of a utopia, a “paradise” with no rules or limitations. The scientific advancements far surpass where we are at today, but the city and it’s inhabitants have slid into entropy and decay.

After your plane crashes over the mid-Atlantic, you swim to the only dry land you can find: the entrance to Rapture. As you make your way into the unique city, you come in contact with someone over your radio who supposedly can help you escape, but he wants you to rescue his family from this “god forsaken place” while you make your way to safety. Guided by this voice over the radio, “Now, would you kindly…”, you make your way from section to section of Rapture.

The hopelessly ruined city of Rapture, Andrew Ryan’s failed experiment, is the real star of the game. Advertisements are adorned to nearly every wall and space for some product that is guaranteed to make you bigger, faster, stronger, or sexier, even if it means reconstructing your DNA to do so. Hulking big daddies, giant robots in suits with a deadly drill for an arm and yellow, glowing eyes lumber throughout the decrepit hallways, ever protective guardians of the sinister little sisters. And various people with different philosophies and ideals are at constant war with each other.

Perhaps Bioshock’s greatest achievement is it forces you to think about real life, real-world dilemmas, and because of this the game seems more real. It’s almost like a philosophy class. You want to say that one person or idea is bad and should be stopped, but the more you think about it, the less black and white the situation becomes. Oh, and the game has the whole “a fish doesn’t know it’s in water” theme going as well. You don’t realize the forces in effect until it is dire-

Scientific progress for the sake of easy-to-obtain beauty.

ctly pointed out to you.

Bioshock creates a fantasy world, but it’s not a totally unfathomable existence. And that is why it should be considered a work of art. The game gets you to think about the world and the human race in different, but plausible ways. It’s a reflection of what could happen if we lose sight of morality.


Here is a printable brochure detailing the artistic value of video games and their contribution to our culture. Be sure to pass it out to any of your friends who are skeptical about video games’ status as artwork!

Why video games deserve to be art

The Importance of New IP

IP stands for intellectual property, and it essentially means a brand-new series, not a continuation of an existing series.

In order for the video game industry to grow and advance, it is vital designers regularly create new characters and develop new game play styles to push gamers’ imaginations and blow their expectations. We are all familiar with the rap sequels get in the film business (which is they are rarely as good as the first movie), and the same trend transfers over to video games. Sequels have this reputation because the developers want to match the level of success they attained with the original and they are hesitant to make significant changes for fear of making players angry that it was too dissimilar to the game they loved. As a result, the experience doesn’t feel as new or imaginative, and players feel they have done most of what the game offers before.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. What if developers More

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