2017 Norberg Travel Grants



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2017 Norberg Travel Grant Recipients

fund scholars in various disciplines and differing career stages to travel to the Institute to conduct archival research.  The recipients are University of California-Davis Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies Gerardo Con Diaz, Harvard University Center for the Environment Ziff Environmental Fellow Evan Hepler-Smith, University of Rhode Island Assistant Professor of Communications Studies Scott Kushner, and Harvard University Doctoral Candidate in American Studies Charles Petersen.

Con Diaz will be researching how IBM’s staff conceptualized and evaluated legal strategies in the decade and a half prior to the company’s “unbundling” (separately pricing software and services) decision in 1969.   Specifically he will use certain types of legal documents to identify targets for analysis within CBI’s voluminous Computer and Communications Industry Association Collection of Antitrust Records, a collection of over 100,000 pages of court records with many thousands of pages on IBM and antitrust.  The research is in support of his book project, “Intangible Inventions: A History of Software Patenting in the United States” (under contract with Yale University Press).

Hepler-Smith will be analyzing materials in both CBI’s Calvin Mooers Papers and the Auerbach and Associates Market and Product Reports Collection in support of his book project tentatively titled, “The Molecular World: How Molecules Became Digital and Everything Became Molecules.”  Mooers is an important figure in this history as his information retrieval and processing systems were influential in the chemical information field.

Kushner will be examining the Control Data Corporate Records on the company’s Ticketron system for his project entitled, “High-Tech Tickets: How Access to Culture Started to Compute.”  He is particularly interested in the how ticketing systems evolved and the underlying algorithms of “inclusion, exclusion, and social sorting.”  Kushner will also research materials on ticketing systems within the Burroughs Corporation Records.

Petersen is conducting research for his dissertation on the history of meritocracy in America. Two of his chapters focus on meritocracy and rise and evolution of the Silicon Valley IT industry.  He anticipates numerous CBI collections providing important context to analyzing meritocracy in Silicon Valley, and in particular plans to study materials in the Association for Women in Computing Records, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility Records, and the Academic Computing Collection.

Jeffrey R. Yost

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