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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 60 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.
Mark Bernstein and Erin Sweeney, The Election of 1912, 1988
Robert DiChiara, Sucker in Spades, 1988
Clark Humphrey, The Perfect Couple, 1990
Michael Joyce, afternoon: a story, 1990
Stuart Moulthrop, Victory Garden, 1991
Sarah Smith, King of Space, 1991
Carolyn Guyer, Quibbling, 1992
George P. Landow, The Dickens Web, 1992
George P. Landow & Jon Lanestedt, The In Memoriam Web, 1992
Judy Malloy, its name was Penelope, 1989-1992
John McDaid, Uncle Buddy’s Phantom Funhouse, 1992
Mary-Kim Arnold, Lust, Diskette 1993, CD-COM 1998
J. Yellowlees Douglas, I Have Said Nothing, Diskette 1993, CD-ROM 1998
Deena Larsen, Marble Springs, 1993
Jim Rosenberg, Intergrams, 1993
Kathryn Cramer, In Small & Large Pieces, 1994
Giuliano Franco, Quam Artem Exerceas?, 1994
David Kolb, Socrates in the Labyrinth, 1994
Kathy Mac, Unnatural Habitats, 1994
Rob Swigart, Directions, 1994
Edward Falco, Sea Island, 1995
Richard Gess, Mahasukha Halo, 1995
Diane Greco, Cyborg: Engineering the Body Electric, 1995
Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl, 1995
Judith Kerman, Mothering, 1995
George Landow, Writing at the Edge, 1995
Deena Larsen, Century Cross, 1995
Judy Malloy & Cathy Marshall, Forward Anywhere, 1995
Michael Van Mantgem, Completing the Circle, 1995
Tim McLaughlin, Notes Toward Absolute Zero, 1995
Christiane Paul, Unreal City: A Hypertext Companion to T. S. Eliot’s "The Waste Land," 1995
Michael Joyce, Twilight: A Symphony, 1996
Robert Kendall, A Life Set For Two, 1996
Jim Rosenberg, The Barrier Frames, 1996
Jim Rosenberg, Diffractions Through, 1996
Richard Smyth, Genetis: A Rhizography, 1996
Bill Bly, We Descend, 1997
Wes Chapman, Turning In, 1997
Edward Falco, A Dream with Demons, 1997
Deena Larsen, Samplers, 1997
Eric Steinhart, Fragments of the Dionysian Body, 1997
Stephanie Strickland, True North, 1997
M.D. Coverley, Califia, 2000
Rob Swigart, Down Time, 2000
Richard Holeton, Figurski at Findhorn on Acid, 2001
Judd Morrissey & Lori Talley, My Name Is Captain, Captain, 2002
Roderick Coover, Cultures in Webs, 2003
Megan Heyward, of day of night, 2004
Mark Bernstein, Those Trojan Girls, 2016

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