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These readings are meant as starting places, not ending places. Read them, find them, drop them into and find out what other people have used them, thought about them, developed them. Read them along the lines I explain in 4.How To Read An Academic Article and annotate along the lines I describe in 5.How to Write a Precis and Memo for a Source Note. I'm grateful to Ian Milligan, Michael Kramer, and Ryan Cordell for sharing their syllabi with me or making their own syllabi public on the web.

I have drawn from many - but not all - of these to help me prepare my talks. Similarly, there are things I am drawing on that are not on this list. No doubt you might know or encounter materials that you feel the rest of us should know about, too, from your other coursework. If that is the case, use Hypothesis, while logged into our reading group, to annotate the appropriate part of the course where you think others might find the materials you've encountered useful, and share links or bibliography.

Some of these you will be able to annotate in your browser using; others you might find easiest to save-as pdf and then drag into zotero, where you can annotated with Zotero's pdf reader (some publishers make things as difficult as possible to read, which begs the question...)

I have selected materials that should be accessible to everyone, online. And yes, my citation style is all over the place. If only I'd saved everything to Zotero first, then built this list!

a work in progress, if you stumble across this site before it formally launches

Part One

Bush, Vannevar. 1943 'As We May Think' The Atlantic

Caulfield, Mike. 2015. 'The Garden and the Stream: A Technopastoral'

Dooley, John F. History of Cryptography and Cryptanalysis: Codes, Ciphers, and Their Algorithms. Springer International Publishing AG, 2018. via our library

Gitelman, Lisa. 2006. “Introduction: Media as Historical Subjects,” Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture (MIT Press)

Kumar, Shiv. 2013. "From Clay Tablets to Web: Journey of Library Catalogue" DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology 33.1: 45-54. Find here

Mak, “Architectures of the Page” , chapter 1 of How the Page Matters.

Wiegand, Wayne A. 1998. 'The "Amherst Method": The Origins of the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme'. Libraries & Culture 3.2: 175-194.

Part Two

Coopersmith, Jonathan. 2015. Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine Introduction, Chapter 1 permalink through our library

Headrick, Daniel R., and Pascal Griset. 2001. “Submarine Telegraph Cables: Business and Politics, 1838-1939.” The Business History Review 75.3: 543–78. via our library

MacDougall, Robert. The People's Network: The Political Economy of the Telephone in the Gilded Age Chapter Two permalink through our library

Menabrea, L. F. 1843. Sketch of the analytical engine invented by Charles Babbage, Esq view here I don't expect you to read this. Rather, what's important are the notes by the translator, Lady Ada Lovelace, wherein she describes how to program a computer. Read what Menabrea thought about that here and then see Fuegi, J, and J. Francis. 2003. "Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'," in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 25.4: 16-26, doi: 10.1109/MAHC.2003.1253887

Müller, Simone M. MÜLLER, S. M. 2016. From Cabling the Atlantic to Wiring the World: A Review Essay on the 150th Anniversary of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable of 1866. Technology and Culture 57.3:507–526. via our library

Quevedo, J. M. 2010. Telecommunications and Colonial Rivalry: European Telegraph Cables to the Canary Islands and Northwest Africa, 1883-1914. Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung, 35.1:108–124. permalink through our library

Standage, Tom. The Victorian Internet via the Internet Archive You need to create a free account to be able to see the full volume. Ch1 & 2 for the devising of the telegraph & morse code, ch 12 for its legacy., pg 68 -72 and ch 5 on the evolution of the network.

Tully, John. 'A Victorian Ecological Disaster: Imperialism, the Telegraph, and Gutta-Percha' via our library

Part Three

Bory, Paolo. 2020 Chapter 1 & 2 in The Internet myth: From the Internet Imaginary to Network Ideologies

Cerf, Vincent and Robert Kahn. 1974. "A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication.'' IEEE Transactions on Communications 22.5: 637-648

Crawford, Kate and Vladan Joler, Anatomy of an AI System

Denning, Peter J. 1989. “The Science of Computing: The ARPANET after Twenty Years.” American Scientist 77.6: 530–34.

Driscoll, Kevin. 2022 “The Birth of the Modem World.” Slate, September 7

Edwards, Benj. 2022 “My Secret Life as an 11-Year-Old BBS Sysop | Ars Technica.” Accessed December 1, 2022.

Frana, Philip L. 2004. “Before the Web There Was Gopher.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 26.1: 20–41.

Knight, S. H. X. Nguyen, N. Falkner, R. Bowden and M. Roughan, 2011 "The Internet Topology Zoo," in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 29, no. 9, pp. 1765-1775, doi: 10.1109/JSAC.2011.111002. via our library see also

Lukasik, Stephen. 2011. “Why the Arpanet Was Built.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 33.3: 4–21.

MacDougall, Robert. 'The Killer App: How the Cold War Created Video Games and Vice Versa' (1 hr). A machine generated transcription is available here.

“11.2 The Evolution of the Internet – Understanding Media and Culture.” Accessed October 20, 2022.

Shannon, Claude. 1948. 'A Mathematical Theory of Communication' Bell System Technical Journal 27.3: 379-423 reprinted here

Weingart, Scott. 2019. 'The Route of a Text Message, a Love Story' Motherboard

Wikipedia, IP over Avian Carriers I am also drawing on Janet Abbate's Inventing the Internet and Andrew Blum's Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet. These sadly are not available electronically for us. At least, not legally.


First ARPANET IMP log. The initials "CSK" in the log stand for Charles S. Kline. Charley was the first person to ever login to a remote host via the ARPANET. His supervising professor was Leonard Kleinrock. Here is a video of Kleinrock showing the original IMP LOG: "The First Internet Connection".

Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Charles S. Kline - UCLA Kleinrock Center for Internet Studies (<a rel="nofollow" class="external autonumber" href="">[1]</a>), Public Domain, Link