[SIGCIS-Members] HP Archives Destroyed in Recent California Fires

Ian S. King isking at uw.edu
Mon Oct 30 14:49:05 PDT 2017


On Mon, Oct 30, 2017 at 2:32 PM, Brian Berg <brianberg at gmail.com> wrote:

> A very sad story here:
>  http://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/7559762-181/hewlett-p
> ackard-archives-at-keysight-destroyed
>
> Chuck House responded to me re: this sad news with:
>
> *Sad on many fronts*
>
> *1.       Ironic, since HP was almost alone in Silicon Valley for hiring a
> curator thirty years ago to preserve its history*
>
> *2.       Ironic, that the curator (and subsequent ones) would not let
> historians or others have access to this tremendous history*
>
> *3.       Ironic, that HP is one of the digital electronics pioneers which
> offered a way to digitize this collection at any point in the last twenty
> years*
>
> *4.       Ironic, that a company so big, with such history, would have no
> sense of the value of what had been accumulated*
>
> *5.       Ironic, that the Computer History Museum here in town, never
> tried to get this archive*
>
> *Great lessons here*
>
> I knew that Chuck had been involved with helping to scan and archive
> Cisco's history.  When I pinged him about that, he wrote me re: his small
> treatise on this topic:
>  *Preserving our Digital Revolution Heritage: If not you, who?  If not
> now, when?
> <http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/charles-house/digital-revolution-heritage/paperback/product-22378873.html>*
>
> _________________________
> Brian A. Berg / bberg at StanfordAlumni.org
> Berg Software Design
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> IEEE SCV Section <http://www.ewh.ieee.org/r6/scv/> Past Chair / IEEE-CNSV
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> <http://www.SiliconValleyHistory.com/> Chair
>
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I recall my interactions with the HP Archivist a few years ago, when I was
looking for some historical content.  I was told it would never be released
because it 'represented HP's intellectual property'.  This was related to
products they haven't sold in 40 years, and I offered an NDA.  A sad and
strange attitude, if you ask me.  -- Ian

-- 
Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS, Ph.D. Candidate
The Information School <http://ischool.uw.edu>
Dissertation: "Why the Conversation Mattered: Constructing a Sociotechnical
Narrative Through a Design Lens

Principal Investigator, "Reflections on Early Computing and Social Change",
UW IRB #42619

Archivist, Voices From the Rwanda Tribunal <http://tribunalvoices.org>
Value Sensitive Design Research Lab <http://vsdesign.org>

University of Washington

There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon could go to China."
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