Like all historical research, the study of contemporary science, technology and medicine partly hinges on the existence of rich archives. (It’s also dependent on interviews and field-work, but that’s another issue.) The status of such archives is not without problems, however. They pivot on scientists’ interest in depositing material; their widespread use is closely connected to the possibility for on-line access; and perhaps most importantly, their existence is based on the willingness of funding agencies to support them.

These and other problems related to scientific archives will be discussed in this guest seminar with Dr. Peter Harper from the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists at the University of Bath, UK, on Monday 2 October. The seminar is organised by Finn Aaserud at the Niels Bohr Archive and takes place in Auditorium A, Niels Bohr Institute, Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen @ 2.15 pm.

Abstract:

Contemporary Scientific Archives: Investing in the Future of the History of Science
The UK National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists (NCUACS) has over thirty years experiences in locating, cataloguing and finding permanent homes for the archives of leading contemporary British scientists, thus preserving and making accessible the original source materials for the history of science. Its present Director, who has been associated with the work for over twenty years, will consider some of the particular challenges of the work including relations with the scientific community, the changing nature of scientific communication and record keeping, and the securing of the necessary resources to fund the archival programme. The work of the NCUACS in the UK will be placed in a wider international context drawing on its Director’s experience with the CASE (Cooperation on Archives of Science in Europe) group and the IUHPS DHST Bibliography and Documentation Commission.

For further info, contact Finn Aaserud at the Niels Bohr Archive.

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