Invitational Conference
Stanford University, August 20 and 21, 1999
Littlefield Center

This conference is an outgrowth of a series of grant-funded projects sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first of these, Science and Technology in the Making, unifies a set of five websites devoted to exploring the history of recent technology innovations ranging from the failure of large scale technology and their effect on society over the development in human computer interaction to discoveries in biotechnology. Since that first grant, the Sloan Foundation has separately funded some ten additional projects through a number of scholary societies (IEEE, ASCE, American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, ASME, to name but a few) that are in the process of bringing up to speed similar work in their individual areas.

The purpose of the conference is to explore the issues raised by using the World Wide Web as an instrument for obtaining information from communities of recently (or currently) involved in the creation of technical and scientific innovation. These include not only those of interest to the historian of science such as recruitment of participants, the usefulness of the World Wide Web in gathering historical material, and the biases introduced thereby. But also those of critical interest to the digital library community such as the nuts and bolts of collecting digital material, its maintenance over time, the implications of building an electronic archive in real time through on-line contributions and intellectual property considerations.

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