[Nethistory] Networking records in National Archives

Andrew Russell <arussell@stevens.edu> Thu, 30 May 2013 13:23 UTC

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On May 28, 2013, at 8:39 PM, Jack Haverty <jack@3kitty.org> wrote:

> Perhaps someone knows how to find it... how's that for a task for the
> professional historians?  Find that repository, then get as much
> relevant material as possible out of it and into an enduring safe
> place.  I suspect a good starting point would be the contract numbers.
> A lot of the early BBN work on the Internet was done under
> MDA903-80-C-0353 & -0214 or NOO039-8l-C-0408, out of DSSW/Navelex.
> Maybe you have some of the old SRI contract numbers too.   Googling a
> contract number produces a lot of material at DTIC from that contract,
> but not all.  A lot must be still just on paper, if it exists at all.

If those records still exist, then they are likely in a very safe place, the National Archives - http://www.archives.gov/.  Finding them and getting access to them is a different trick that requires old-fashioned archival research - costly, dusty, frustrating, and time-consuming. I'm not surprised that Google isn't turning up too much, and I can't imagine that Congress is planning to fund the digitization of the National Archives anytime soon ;-)

Off the top of my head, several professional historians have done research on networking in those archives, including Arthur Norberg, Alex Roland, Janet Abbate, and (most recently) Jon Laprise.  Paul Ceruzzi at the National Air & Space Museum might have some insights as well.

Again - this is just the US; Valerie Schafer in France has had some luck with the INRIA archives (for Cyclades), and I have to believe that archival (aka paper) materials exist in the UK, Norway, etc.