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Pathfinders

Collection of Early Digital Literature in the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL)

Pathfinders innovates the method of digital preservation called “collection” by making the collection experience widely available to audiences through traversals––that is, documentation of artists' performing their works or users' interacting with works on vintage computers in collections like the ones found in the Electronic Literature Lab (ELL) and at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). ELL contains over 300 works of electronic literature––many of them produced and/or published before the introduction of the browser––and over 50 vintage Apple computers dating from 1983. A complete inventory of works and computers can be found in the ELL Catalog. Early digital literature, like those featured in Pathfinders, was created with an authoring system or programmed in languages like BASIC and, then, published on either 5 ¼” or 3 ½ floppy disks. Some works completed just as CD technology was becoming prevalent, like Bill Bly's We Descend, were published simultaneously on both a floppy disk and CD. They were sold and distributed through catalogs or by publishers, like Art Com Catalog and Eastgate, the developer of Storyspace and Tinderbox that also pioneered publishing methods for electronic literature. ELL’s early digital literature features these titles, below, from Eastgate. Missing from my collection are two works published by the company: Christiane Paul's Unreal City and Mark Bernstein and Erin Sweeney's The Election of 1912.
1. Mary-Kim Arnold, Lust (Diskette 1993, CD-COM 1998)
2. Bill Bly, We Descend (1997)
3. Wes Chapman, Turning In, (1997)
4. Roderick Coover, Cultures in Webs (2003)
5. M.D. Coverley, Califia (2000)
6. Kathryn Cramer, In Small & Large Pieces (1994)
7. J. Yellowlees Douglas, I Have Said Nothing (Diskette 1993, CD-ROM 1998)
8. Edward Falco, A Dream with Demons (1997)
9. ---, Sea Island (1995)
10. Giuliano Franco, Quam Artem Exerceas? (1994)
11. Richard Gess, Mahasukha Halo (1995)
12. Diane Greco, Cyborg: Engineering the Body Electric (1995)
13. Carolyn Guyer, Quibbling (1992)
14. Megan Heyward, of day, of night (2004)
15. Richard Holeton, Figurski at Findhorn on Acid (2001)
16. Clark Humphrey, The Perfect Couple (1990)
17. Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl (1995)
18. Michael Joyce, afternoon, a story (1990)
19. Michael Joyce, Twilight, A Symphony (1996)
20. Robert Kendall, A Life Set For Two (1996)
21. Judith Kerman, Mothering (1995)
22. David Kolb, Socrates in the Labyrinth (1994)
23. George P. Landow, The Dickens Web  (1992)
24. George P. Landow & Jon Lanestedt, The In Memoriam Web (1992)
25. George Landow, Writing on the Edge (1995)
26. Deena Larsen, Century Cross (1995)
27. ---, Marble Springs (1993)
28. ---, Samplers (1996)
29. Kathy Mac, Unnatural Habitats (1994)
30. Judy Malloy, its name was Penelope (1989-1992)
31. Judy Malloy & Cathy Marshall, Forward Anywhere (1995)
32. Michael Van Mantgem, Completing the Circle (1995)
33. John McDaid, Uncle Buddy’s Phantom Funhouse (1992)
34. Tim McLaughlin, Notes Toward Absolute Zero (1995)
35. Judd Morrissey & Lori Talley, My Name Is Captain, Captain (2002)
36. Stuart Moulthrop, Victory Garden (1991)
37. Jim Rosenberg, The Barrier Frames (1996)
38. Jim Rosenberg, Diffractions Through (1996)
39. Jim Rosenberg, Intergrams (1993)
40. Sarah Smith, King of Space (1991)
41. Richard Smyth, Genetis: A Rhizography (1996)
42. Eric Steinhart, Fragments of the Dionysian Body (1997)
43. Stephanie Strickland, True North (1997)
44. Rob Swigart, Down Time (2000)
45. ---, Directions (1994)

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This page references:

  1. Electronic Literature Lab (ELL)
  2. Electronic Literature Lab Logo
  3. The Dickens Web
  4. of day of night
  5. King of Space
  6. Notes toward Absolute Zero
  7. Lust by Arnold