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Subject: Conservation of computer hardware

Conservation of computer hardware

From: Hannah Frost <hfrost>
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Daniel Joest <lcjoest [at] yahoo__com> writes

>... I am interested in the
>conservation of more modern objects, especially computers. So my
>question is if anybody has experiences with conservation of computer
>cases and/or the electronic components. ...

I suggest this informative paper:

    Jon Ecklund and Beth Racine.
    "Ensuring a Future for Our Present High-Tech Past: Lessons from
    the ENIAC for the Conservation of Major Electronic Technology"
    in Saving the Twentieth Century: The Conservation of Modern
    Materials, Symposium Proceedings published by the Canadian
    Conservation Institute, pp. 249-259, 1993.

In my on-going efforts to gather information on the subject of
preserving computer hardware, I have culled two important guidelines
about the storage of hardware: batteries and any foam rubber used in
the hardware casing should be removed before storage. The foam
rubber will almost inevitably degrade into countless particulates,
creating a sticky mess; battery acid, of course, can corrode,
causing a potential health hazard and its caustic properties may
damage the artifact and hinder its operability.

In addition to Stanford University Libraries, there are several U.S.
institutions which collect hardware, such as: the Computer History
Museum in Mountain View, Calif.;  the Smithsonian Institution in
Washington, DC; and the Charles Babbage Institute at the Center for
the History of Information Technology at the University of
Minnesota.  Of course many computer manufacturers keep some
equipment for their corporate archives.

Good luck with your research,

Hannah Frost
Media Preservation Librarian
Stanford University Libraries

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:33
                Distributed: Thursday, November 14, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-33-002
Received on Tuesday, 12 November, 2002

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