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

Matthew Kirschenbaum mkirschenbaum at gmail.com
Thu Jul 26 11:23:38 PDT 2018

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
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