2014 – Duke University acquisition of The Electronic Chronicles

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Wortzel’s “The Electronic Chronicles” has been acquired by the Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as part of their Electronic Literature Collection.

“As part of its collecting of contemporary literature, the Rubenstein Library at Duke University has collected archival materials from creators of electronic literature, or works of literature that are developed with and to some extent depend upon digital environments to be fully understood and appreciated. This collection features works published online by authors of electronic literature whose papers are held at Duke University.”

The Electronic Chronicles was Wortzel’s thesis for her 1995 MFA in Computer Arts from the School of Visual Art.. It consists of documentation of an archaeological dig of the future which digs us up in the late 20th Century, namely, the Casaba Melon Institute reports and interpretations of its archaeological excavation at the Twin Lions Site. This includes the in situ electronic documents that have been uncovered from our time. The Casaba Melon Institute is concerned with their condition, their origins, and their significance to the wizards who preserved them as well the archaeologists who discovered and deciphered them. The quote following is the description from 1995::

“The Electronic Chronicles consists of text and images created for and on the World Wide Web. The work is in the form of hypermedia. I.e. text and images are activated to link to other text and/or images. It is meant to be viewed with the latest and most developed graphical browsers, Netscape 1.1b3. It is scripted in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).”

MFA requirements also included a print copy of a formal thesis paper. This thesis paper took the form of a mummified book. Pages were printed two-sided on sheets of translucent paper, then laminated for posterity (In keeping with the archaeological theme). The laminated pages were shuffled like a deck of cards and then subjected to a linen mummy wrap .

Duke University has collected both the digital work and the mummified thesis.

The Electronic Chronicles are still online in their original form at http://www.adriannewortzel.com/project/ec/

A PDF of the thesis paper can be downloaded at
http://www.adriannewortzel.com/project/the-electronic-chronicles-thesis-paper-1995/

Duke University Electronic Literature Collection: https://archive-it.org/collections/2837;JSESSIONID@archive-it.org=544370E1CCB50B782B14CD76EC1096CD

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