A Home for Our Legal Technology Relics

In a conversation the other day we touched on the differences between how (or if) electronic legal research was taught when I was in law school, and then a few years later when I first instructed legal research and writing. We recalled the equipment, manuals, and peripherals the publisher(s) sent us, and a perception of their complexity.

Serendipitously, the same day, I noticed Sarah Glassmeyer of CALI wrote on LLRX about an idea to collect those old things and more.

Note: It’s not that she’s a hoarder. Sarah happens to want to collect and preserve “our shared legal technology history:”

Inspired partly by my anthropological background and partly by the work of Jason Scott who preserves computer history with the Internet Archive, I would like to start collecting our shared legal technology history before it all ends up in dumpsters. I do not have a concrete plan right now. It might just end up that I send it to Jason and have it end up in the IA when they have scanner time (which wouldn’t be a terrible thing.) I can also see having a technology museum type thing that I bring out at CALIcons. Inspired partly by my anthropological background and partly by the work of Jason Scott who preserves computer history with the Internet Archive, I would like to start collecting our shared legal technology history before it all ends up in dumpsters. I do not have a concrete plan right now. It might just end up that I send it to Jason and have it end up in the IA when they have scanner time (which wouldn’t be a terrible thing.) I can also see having a technology museum type thing that I bring out at CALIcons.

Though I have said good-bye to most of my old manuals, I do believe I saved my first-ever set of electronic research materials and some expired research CDs-cum-coasters, for archival/nostalgic reasons. (See above re “not a hoarder.”)

I now know where they can go to retire and be cared for, Sarah can expect a box from me soon, and my garage will be a little happier too.

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Comments

  1. At the CALL conference in Montreal, it was interesting to see the early computers, modems, manuals, sheets and guides that Lexis aka Quicklaw was able to showcase at the opening session for the conference. A little bit of Canadiana and legal technology history.