[SIGCIS-Members] Origins of "archive" in computer science

Paul N. Edwards pedwards at stanford.edu
Mon Aug 6 10:42:51 PDT 2018


Datamation, the trade magazine, has been in continuous publication since 1957. That would be an ideal place to look for early uses of the term "archive."


I'm not sure whether the paper magazine has ever been digitized and made searchable - does anyone know?


Ditto for Communications of the ACM and Journal of the ACM.


- Paul


___________________________
Paul N. Edwards
William J. Perry Fellow in International Security
Center for International Security and Cooperation<http://cisac.fsi.stanford.edu/>
Stanford University

Professor Emeritus of Information<http://www.si.umich.edu/> and History<http://www.lsa.umich.edu/history/>
University of Michigan

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________________________________
From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of Matthew Kirschenbaum <mkirschenbaum at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 3:09:35 PM
To: members
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Origins of "archive" in computer science

I've had a couple of additional backchannel responses to this (thank you) but nothing terribly decisive. Is the question too diffuse, I wonder? Too obscure? How would one go about running something like this down? What would be some good industry publications to check to try to track the emergence of "archive" as a computer systems term?

OED doesn't offer a usage in relation to computing or data before 1978, but this seems late to me; certainly Wang was using the language of an "archive" disk for much of the 1970s.

Best, Matt


On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 2:23 PM, Matthew Kirschenbaum <mkirschenbaum at gmail.com<mailto:mkirschenbaum at gmail.com>> wrote:
Dear all,

I'm trying to find early exemplars of the use of the word "archive" in computer systems contexts, whether as a noun to denote an element of computer  architecture (i.e., the archive disk or archive tape) or as a verb, i.e. "I've archived those files."

Examples might include the TAR ("Tape ARchive") format, Wang's nomenclature of an "archive disk" in its systems, and Gmail's early mantra, "Archive, Don't Delete."

I'd love to run down some early instances of this sort of thing, which I assume goes back to the mainframe era.

Thank you--

--
Matthew Kirschenbaum
Professor of English and Digital Studies
Director, Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies
University of Maryland
mkirschenbaum.net<http://mkirschenbaum.net>




--
Matthew Kirschenbaum
Professor of English and Digital Studies
Director, Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies
University of Maryland
mkirschenbaum.net<http://mkirschenbaum.net>

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