Volume 53, Number 2 (April/May 2018)

Crises" in Scholarly Communications?: Maturity and Transfer of the Journal of Library History to the University of Texas, 1968–1976 

by Maria Gonzalez and Patricia Galloway
p. 121-152


The story of the Journal of Library History, now known as Information & Culture: A Journal of History, continues with the buildout at Florida under Dean Harold Goldstein and the transfer of the Journal to the University of Texas at Austin under the aegis of the University of Texas Press and the editorship of Donald Davis. Historical perspectives are used to frame continuing crises in scholarly communications as they impinge on the Journal. This story is interpreted through the sociological lens of Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of social field, habitus, and multiple forms of capital.

Maria Elena Gonzalez, after a career in architecture and building, earned a PhD in Library and Information Science (2008) from the School of Information, University of Texas-Austin, and has taught in that field at Wayne State University and Rutgers University.

Patricia Galloway spent twenty years at the Mississippi Department of Archives and history before coming to teach courses on appraisal and digital archives at the School of Information, University of Texas-Austin. She holds PhDs in Comparative Literature (1973) and Anthropology (2004) from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

"Save the Cross Campus": Library Planning and Protests at Yale, 1968-1969

by Geoffrey Robert Little
p. 153-174


In 1968 students and faculty at Yale University protested against plans for a new underground library. The protests reflected and refracted increased student and faculty campus activism, anxieties generated by urban renewal projects in New Haven, and concerns about the university's place in the city. This study challenges the assumption that the academic library was a passive spectator to events on campuses during the 1960s and analyzes how factors like changing space needs, the growth of published information, evolving information technologies, and campus activism impacted library planning and design at one of the country's largest academic libraries.

Geoffrey Robert Little is editor in chief at Concordia University Press in Montreal. He also holds an adjunct appointment in McGill University’s School of Information Studies, where he teaches a course on the history of books and printing. He has degrees in information studies and history from the University of Toronto and Concordia.

Media Prophylaxis: Night Modes and the Politics of Preventing Harm

Dylan Mulvin
p. 175-202

This article develops the term “media prophylaxis” to analyze the ways technologies are applied to challenges of calibrating one’s body with its environment and as defenses against endemic, human-made harms. In recent years, self-illuminated screens (like those of computers, phones, and tablets) have been identified by scientists, journalists, and concerned individuals as particularly pernicious sources of sleep-disrupting light. By tracing the history of circadian research, the effects of light on sleep patterns, and the recent appearance of software like “f.lux,” Apple’s “Night Shift,” and “Twilight,” this article shows how media-prophylactic technologies can individualize responsibility for preventing harm while simultaneously surfacing otherwise ignored forms of chronic sufferingpublic.

Dylan Mulvin is a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a historian of media technologies. He studies how standards, norms, and defaults encode and crystallize assumptions about human perception and behavior.

Rethinking the Call for a US National Data Center in the 1960s: Privacy, Social Science Research, and Data Fragmentation Viewed from the Perspective of Contemporary Archival Theory

Christopher Loughnane, William Aspray
p. 203-242


This article reconsiders from current archival perspectives the debate surrounding the failed proposal for a national data center in the 1960s. Whereas most accounts of the 1960s effort to construct a national data center in the United States focus on privacy issues, this account focuses more broadly on contextualizing the concerns of the social science community regarding the fragmented state of data archives and on explaining why that moment in particular was a crucial culminating point of sociohistorical and technological pressures in the wider histories of digital computing, archives, data storage, and social science scholarship.

Christopher Loughnane is a doctoral candidate in the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute at the University of Glasgow and a fellow at the Media Archaeology Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

William Aspray is professor of information science and affiliate professor of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

This issue of Information & Culture is now available on Project MUSE