From 2018-2020, the Georgia Tech Library was part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded cohort of six organizations--the Guggenheim Museum, Living Computers: Museum + Labs, University of Arizona, University of Illinois, and University of Virginia--exploring the key challenges to providing long-term access to software-dependent cultural heritage. The grant project, Fostering a Community of Practice: Software Preservation and Emulation Experts in Libraries, Archives, and Museums, aimed to broaden participation in software preservation, advance digital preservation practice, and inform field-wide understanding.
Under the umbrella of its retroTECH initiative, which provides access to vintage technologies and seeks to inspire a culture of long-term thinking, the Georgia Tech Library’s project has been to create a proof-of-concept for retroTECH Online, a web presence through which patrons can utilize software from retroTECH’s collections for teaching and learning, explore the stories surrounding that software, and foster a virtual retroTECH community. The project team used oral history and emulation to tell the stories of several software innovations created by Georgia Tech community members--from the graphic simulation that helped win Atlanta's 1996 Olympics bid to Game Boy Advance games coded by current students mastering computer science. The project enabled us to grow our oral history program, partner with students to build sustainable library code, and explore how essential human stories and relationships are to preserving and providing access to software and software-dependent collections over time.
You're invited to explore these software stories and to get in touch with us if you have a story to share.
- Maura Gerke
- Wendy Hagenmaier
- Amanda Pellerin
- Jody Thompson
- Richa Virmani
With thanks to:
Katie Gentilello, Chris Helms, Heather Jeffcoat, Bing Wang