"Save As: Receiving the Larsen Collection"?

by MATTHEW KIRSCHENBAUM and JOHN MURRAY

In May of 2007, MITH received the extraordinary gift of Deena Larsen's personal collection of early-era personal computers and software. Deena is an author and new media visionary who has been active in the creative electronic writing community nearly since its inception in the 1980s. In addition to being a writer and thinker, Deena has also been a collector and an amateur archivist (or, as we say of amateurs, a hoarder). Collecting and hoarding, it turns out, are very important activities, since too few of our cultural institutions and repositories are yet engaged with acquiring and saving the rich and various creative legacy we have inherited from the first generation of personal computing. The arrival of Deena's collection at MITH furnishes us with invaluable source material which will further both our in-house research in digital curation and preservation, as well as function as a primary resource for researchers interested in early hypertext and electronic literature.

This talk will introduce the collection to the MITH community, and discuss future research agendas. We intend a wide-ranging conversation, from the practicalities and ethics of preservation to the implications of born-digital material for textual and editorial theory.

MATTHEW KIRSCHENBAUM is Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of MITH, as well as a Vice President of the Electronic Literature Organization. He has been lecturing widely this semester on "The Remaking of Reading,"? a version of which just appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education. His book, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination will be published in January by the MIT Press.

JOHN MURRAY is currently pursuing a self-designed undergraduate major in digital narratives at the University of Maryland, having studied Digital Art and creative writing for two years at Towson University before transferring to College Park and studying computer science for a year. He is most interested in the authorial process, interactions and relationships between characters and readers and authors and the possibilities of digital fiction and narratives.

Coming up @MITH: This is the last Digital Dialogue of the semester. We'll have another full schedule next semester: speakers already confirmed include musician and poet ONI BUCHANAN, KEN PRICE (Nebraska), BERNIE FRISCHER (Virginia), and Maryland'S MARILEE LINDEMANN and JONATHAN AUERBACH.

View MITH's complete Fall Speakers Schedule here:

  • http://www.mith2.umd.edu/programs/mith_speakers_fall_2007.pdf
  • All talks free and open to the public!
  • Contact: Neil Fraistat, Director, MITH (www.mith.umd.edu, mith@umd.edu, 5-8927).
  • Tags: DigitalDialogues, mith