History of Science and Technology
The goal of this program is to preserve the raw material of history by supporting archival projects now centered on Charles Darwin, Thomas A. Edison, and Kurt Gödel, and via new projects based on the World Wide Web.
Doron Weber, Program Director
The goal of this program is to preserve and make available to scholars complete collections of the papers, letters, and notes of Darwin, Edison, and Gödel. In 2003, Volume 13 of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin was published while work continued on Volumes 14-21. Over 50 new letters from Darwin were recorded and transcribed while more letters were translated from the French, Italian and German. The Darwin Correspondence Project has won international recognition, most recently when it received the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, presented to its editors by Queen Elizabeth.
The fourth volume of the Edison papers was published and work is underway on volume five and on the electronic edition. The Edison web site has received wide praise.
In 2003, the final two volumes of Kurt Gödel's Collected Works, edited by Solomon Fefferman and John W. Dawson, Jr., were published by Oxford University Press.
Recent History of Science and Engineering on the Web
Jesse H. Ausubel, Program Director
The goal of this program is to develop and diffuse a new way of creating, accessing, and preserving the historical record of recent major technical and scientific events by using the Internet. Use of the web allows the actual participants in important technical events, for example, the invention of the computer mouse, to volunteer their own recollections. Initial grants supported the creation of over 30 web sites by ten professional societies, six universities, and a museum, on a wide variety of topics ranging from the development of the artificial heart to the planning, construction, and early operation of the Trans-Alaska pipeline. The goal is to create interactive sites attracting contributions by participants in the actual scientific or technical development to which the site is devoted.
During 2000, centers for work of this kind were established at the Dibner Institute http://hrst.mit.edu and at George Mason University http://www.echo.gmu.edu. During 2003 we plan to work with entities such as professional and historical societies that might create low-cost interactive historical web sites and preserve them as a customary and continuing facet of their services. One goal is to increase contributions to the historical record by engineers and scientists who worked within companies. We are also interested in working on the more general problem of the long-run, reliable preservation and archiving of web sites in S&T.
Sloan also supported George Mason U. and City University of New York to bring the September 11 Digital Archive http://www.911digitalarchive.org into existence. On September 11, 2003 the Library of Congress held a Symposium on "September 11 as History" to reflect on the events and to mark the Library's first major digital acquisition of September 11, 2001, materials with the addition to its collections of the September 11 Digital Archive. For the press release about the accession visit http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2003/03-142.html, while the Symposium program and eventually its webcast are at http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/911symposium/.
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