Scope and Contents
The collection is divided into two subgroups: Subgroup I, General Records, 1956-2009 which consist of papers generated and received by Melvin Kranzberg in his various roles as an officer of SHOT, as well as papers of other SHOT officers. Subgroup II,Technology and Culture Records, 1958-2009, consists of documents relating to the Society's journal, Technology and Culture. T & C is a quarterly publication containing articles of interest to and written by historians and students of technology. The records consist of material generated by Melvin Kranzberg in his role as editor-in-chief, 1959-1981 and by succeeding T&C editors. The Melvin Kranzberg Papers (AC0266) consist of the personal papers of Dr. Kranzberg from his undergraduate years at Amherst College through his professional career. The collection documents his involvement with development of the new field of history of technology and his role as principal founder of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT); work as consultant and advisor to domestic and international agencies, colleges, and universities; personal affiliations, lectureships, publications; and teaching and administrative activities for more than forty years as a college professor.
Subgroup I: General Records, 1956-2009, consists of documents relating to SHOT from its inception in 1958 to 2009, papers generated and received by Melvin Kranzberg in his various roles as an officer of SHOT, as well as papers of other SHOT officers.
The General Records are divided into ten series based on the functions of this professional organization of scholars interested in the history of technology. Series one through three document committees and officers and their correspondence regarding day-to-day activities of the Society. Financial records and preparation for annual membership meetings and other more specialized meetings comprise other series. Newsletters and brochures describing SHOT's activities and the records of SHOT's relationships with other professional associations (such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science) complete the General Records.
Series 1: Organizational Records, 1956-1984, consists of materials documenting organizing work, including membership, officers, finances, publicity and drafting of a constitution for SHOT. Included are minutes of meetings to accomplish these purposes as well as for the first general membership meeting held in December, 1958. Papers incorporating SHOT and a history of the organization as of 1976 are included. These records are organized into three categories: the initial conceptualization and creation of SHOT; support activities in the early period; the constitution and history of SHOT. The material is arranged chronologically.
Series 2: Records Of Councils, Committees, and Other Groups, 1959-1989, consists of the records of SHOT councils, committees and other organizational groups. The Executive Council consists of nine elected voting members in addition to the officers of the Society, past presidents of the Society, and the editor-in-chief of the Society's journal. The Executive Council directs the affairs of the Society. In order to reflect the composition of the Society as an interdisciplinary organization which draws from both academe and the factory and industrial laboratory, the Executive Council has been made up of a combination of academicians and practicing engineers and industrialists.
Subseries 2.2a: Executive Council, 1959-1963; 1968; 1975-1978; 1983-1987, contain memoranda to the Executive Council from Melvin Kranzberg, Secretary, 1959-1974; correspondence to and from Secretary Carroll Pursell, 1975-1978; reports; minutes; and other memoranda regarding the SHOT Brochure and Museum Exhibit Awards Program. In addition, Series 5 contains the minutes of many Executive Council meetings, 1958-1992.
Subseries 2.2b: Advisory Council, 1960-1961, is composed of SHOT members selected on the basis of their distinquished scholarship or eminent service to the development of technological studies. The Advisory Council is consulted from time to time regarding the affairs of the Society. These records contain memoranda to the Advisory Council requesting advice, and a list and addresses of Council members as of March, 1961.
The Subseries 2.2c: Nominating Committee,1961-1984, is composed of three Society members appointed by the president; they serve for three years in rotation, one member being added and one retiring each year. Their duties are to nominate persons for the various offices, Executive Council, and the Advisory Council. In addition they make nominations to the Executive Council of candidates for corresponding membership. These records contain correspondence among Society officers, members and potential members of the Nominating Committee; memoranda to the Nominating Committee regarding the work of the committee; lists of officers and council members of the Society; and nominations and ballots.
The Subseries 2.2d: Editorial Committee,1980-1987, is chosen by members of the Executive Council and generally oversees and has ultimate responsibility for the Society's journal, Technology and Culture. The editor-in-chief of the journal is the chairman of the Editorial Committee. The records contain correspondence of the committee; annual reports of the committee; memoranda; and the editor's reports.
The Subseries 2.2e: Documents Committee,1961-1970; 1979-1985 mission was to monitor the preservation of important documents and archival materials that are or may be of value to historians of technology. A primary function is the encouragement of the maintenance and preservation of scientific and technological archives. These records contain correspondence to and from the chairman of the committee, Mel Kranzberg, and others regarding the committee's work and status.
The Subseries 2.2f: Program Committee, 1959; 1961; 1968; 1971; 1983-1984, has charge of arrangements for SHOT's annual meetings, any special meetings of the Society, and any other programs sponsored by the Society. For example, the committee has the responsibility of organizing SHOT sessions at annual meetings of the American Historical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and History of Science Society, among others. These records contain correspondence and memoranda among members of the committee--and with Kranzberg--regarding program sessions and participants at various meetings and other committee business and priorities; the program of the SHOT 1983 annual meeting; and various program reports, 1959-1985.
Subseries 2.2g: Other Committees, 1961-1987, consist of correspondence and memoranda regarding the myriad aspects of various small SHOT committees' work. Among the committees are: Fellowship Committee; Aims and Goals Committee; Industrial Archeology Committee; Electricity and Electronics Archives Committee; Bicentennial Committee; SHOT Research Committee; Technical Studies Committee; Museum Committee; Monograph Committee; Ad Hoc Committee on Library Services; Technical Studies and Educational Committee; Sites Committee; the Endowment Committee; and the Bibliographic Committee, which was organized to prepare an annual list of books and articles with critical comments or references to reviews when available. The bibliography is published annually in Technology and Culture. An analytical index is prepared annually to accompany the bibliography.
Subseries 2.2h: Officers and Committee Appointments, 1963;1966; 1970-1977; 19080; 1982, contains lists of SHOT committee officers, as well as correspondence and memoranda regarding committee and SHOT officers' appointments and acceptances.
Since SHOT's inception in 1958, members have formed special interest groups (SIGs) for the purpose of bringing together scholars and professionals with interests in specific fields of the history of technology.
Subseries 2.2i: Special Interest Groups, 1961-1988, material includes correspondence, memoranda, newsletters, directories, reports of chairmen, and articles of various special interest groups. These special interest groups are composed of SHOT members who have a common interest, e.g., women's roles in technological history and military technology.
The Subseries 2.2j: Awards Committee (Committee on Honors), 1961-1988, was an advisory committee created to establish conditions and to recommend recipients for various SHOT medals and awards, such as the Usher, Dexter and da Vinci. The power to confer the awards rests with the Executive Council of SHOT. The committee is also responsible for developing citations for the medals and carrying out the nomination process for awards. These records contain correspondence between committee members and Kranzberg regarding awards to recipients, vitae of award recipients, and edited copies of the "awards/honors section" of Technology and Culture.
The Subseries 2.2k: Leonardo da Vinci Medal, 1966-1986, is the Society's highest honor, presented to an individual who has greatly contributed to the history of technology through research, teaching, publications, and other activities. This material consists mostly of correspondence among officers of SHOT and the medal recipients. Also included is biographical material on three recipients of the medal. Photographs of the medal are also included.
The Subseries 2.2l: Dexter Prize, sponsored by the Dexter Chemical Corporation of New York City, is an annual prize of $1,000 dollars for the best book on the history of technology. This material is mainly correspondence regarding the establishment of the prize, development of the plaque, correspondence to and from the recipients, a photo of one recipient, and original illustrations of the plaque.
The Subseries 2.2m: Robinson Prize, 1968-1987, was established by the Executive Council and is awarded annually. It consists of a certificate and a check for $150 dollars for the best paper presented at a SHOT annual meeting by a person under thirty years of age. The material includes correspondence and memoranda regarding this prize. In addition, copies of many submission papers are included.
The Subseries 2.2n: Levinson Prize, 1984-1986, is awarded for an author's first manuscript intended for publication. There is a cash award of $250 dollars and an appropriate plaque. Included is correspondence to and from SHOT officers regarding the establishment and the awarding of this prize.
Subseries 2o: Miscellaneous Awards, 1984-1986, consists of correspondence and memoranda related to various small awards and prizes, including the Usher prize, a special certification award for meritorious work not covered by established prizes, and the IEEE Life Member's Prize in Electrical History, administered by SHOT.
Series 3: Correspondence, 1963-1988, contains correspondence of SHOT officers and is divided into three subseries: general correspondence, correspondence of SHOT presidents, and correspondence dealing with particularly important subjects. The general correspondence deals with routine administrative matters from 1966-1988. The presidential letters and the letters to which they reply relate to the official responsibilities of the SHOT president 1978-1986. The final category contains correspondence, 1975-1985, on subjects such as preparations for commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage and the offer of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to be the repository for the records of SHOT.
Series 4: Financial Records (Budget), 1959-1993, consists of financial statements and bank records, 1960-1993, including reports of SHOT treasurers to the membership and to appropriate committees regarding SHOT finances, as well as bank statements, check stubs, and other records of transactions and investments. Copies of required reports to the Internal Revenue Service, 1960-1991 are filed separately as is the general correspondence of SHOT Treasurers, 1985-1991. Financial reports on individual SHOT Meetings, 1976-1993 consititute a final category.
Series 5: Meetings, 1958-1992, contains minutes of the Executive Council and annual general membership meetings, as well as records of preparatory work for annual meetings of SHOT, and is arranged chronologically. Records of other membership meetings concerned with particular subjects are listed separately. Correspondence relating to a conference on "Critical Issues in the History of Technology" organized by SHOT in Roanoke, Virginia in 1978, is also included.
Series 6: Secretary's Membership Records, 1958-1984, consists of reports and correspondence to and from officers and members of SHOT, and is arranged chronologically. Included are inquiries from prospective members, responses by the SHOT secretary, statistics of membership, questionnaires, and invitations to join SHOT.
Series 7: Newsletter, 1958-1997, contains the SHOT newsletter and records of its publication and is arranged chronologically for 1977-1989. Materials for the years preceding 1977 include the actual newsletters for 1958-1964, arranged chronologically, and the rough draft of the 1960 newsletter. Series 9 contains additional copies of the SHOT newsletter.
Series 8: Publication of Monographs, 1961-1984, contains correspondence and committee meeting minutes relating to editorial review, printing problems and royalties. These are arranged by subject.
Series 9: SHOT Professional Relations with Other Organizations, 1964-1988, consists of materials documenting SHOT's numerous official contacts with other professional societies, including joint meetings, correspondence, and minutes. These records are arranged chronologically. Papers relating to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Council of Learned Societies are grouped separately.
Series 10, Officers Files, 1958-2009, contains materials submitted periodically by former officers of SHOT, beginning in the mid-1980s. Included are documents relating to their administrative functions, as well as their correspondence conducted while in office. Received material which obviously fits into the body of the collections has been so incorporated, in the order of their donation.
Subgroup II: Technology and Culture Records, 1958-1995, consists of documents relating to the Society's journal, Technology and Culture. T & C is a quarterly publication containing articles of interest to and written by historians and students of technology. The records consist of material generated by Melvin Kranzberg in his role as editor-in-chief, 1959-1981 and by succeeding T&C editors.
The papers are divided into ten subseries according to the editorial and other activities involved in producing T & C. In addition to the Organizational Records, 1958-1962, the Technology and Culture records include book reviews, editorial reviews of articles, indexes and tables of contents, printing (by the University of Chicago Press), costs, promotions, and special projects.
Series 1: Organizational Records, 1958-1962 , contains correspondence, minutes of meetings and memoranda relating to the creation of the quarterly journal, T&C, and its first issue. the series includes records of a membership poll to choose the journal's name. A speech by Melvin Kranzberg in 1981 entitled "Quirks and Jerks of Editing Technology and Culture" outlines the early considerations in publication and later editorial problems.
Series 2: Correspondence, 1965-1988, is restricted and contains articles and reviews of articles submitted to T&C for publication. This material is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The folder dates represent the dates of all the correspondence in the folder. The older date usually represents the date when the correspondence was initiated regarding the submission of an article to T&C. However, the latest date does not always represent correspondence regarding a submission to T&C, since Kranzberg sometimes included general correspondence in the folders.
All articles went through a refereeing process, during which referees wrote recommendations, either for or against publication. These judges wrote their recommendations with the understanding that their identities and their evaluations would remain confidential. In order to maintain the confidentiality of all parties, this separate correspondence series and the confidential referee reviews have been restricted for thirty years from the most recent date of the correspondence. Exceptions will be made if written permission is obtained from SHOT's Editorial Board.The majority of folders contain correspondence between Kranzberg and the referees about articles, but not the articles themselves. The judges' recommendations contain a great deal of information. Some papers were revised two, three, or more times in preparation for publication and referees' reports follow each revision.
Series 3: Book Reviews, 1969-1995, consists of drafts of reviews which appeared inT&C with correspondence relating to those reviews. The material is arranged chronologically according to theT&C issue in which they appeared.
Series 4: Editorial Review of Articles, 1960-1993, consists of drafts of articles considered for publication and other editorial material, for example, exhibit reviews, communications, notes and announcements, correspondence (with authors and reviewers; the latter included comments on the draft articles) and email printouts. The material is arranged alphabetically by name of author and is restricted. Judges wrote their recommendations with the understanding that their identities and their evaluations, would remain confidential. In order to maintain the confidentiality of all parties, this series and the confidential referee reviews have been restricted for thirty years from the most recent date of the correspondence. Exceptions will be made if written permission is obtained from SHOT's Editorial Board.
Series 5: Indexes (Cumulative) and Tables of Contents, 1965-1987 (Boxes 54-56), contains tables of contents of each quarterly edition of T&C, 1965-1981, together with cumulative indexes through 1987.
Series 6: Technology and Culture Printing and Costs, 1959-1994, consists of correspondence with printers of the T&C quarterly journal (primarily the University of Chicago Press), including instructions for printing and negotiation of costs. Also included are arrangements for reprints, cover designs and membership lists. Correspondence relating to campaigns to promote sales of T&C and annual reports of revenues and costs is arranged chronologically.
Series 7: Special Projects, 1962-1986, includes materials documenting miscellaneous projects related to T&C and its editing and publication, and is arranged chronologically.
Series 8: Technology and Culture Editor, 1982-1995, consists of records of the editor documenting the functions of soliciting, reviewing, refereeing and giving final approval for articles and book reviews appearing in T&C. Correspondence with members of SHOT and others is arranged alphabetically. Letters relate to proposed articles and comments on them, as well as other subjects. Also included is correspondence relating to Post's own publications, exhibits, and public presentations, assessments of grant applications, records of his involvement in the affairs of the National Museum of American History and other museums, and correspondence with other periodicals with which he was editorially involved, such as Invention and Technology and Railroad History.
Series 9: Published Files, 1982-1994,contains edited typescript (as submitted to publisher) for articles, research notes, conference reports, organizational notes, reviews, obituaries, and all other material published in Technology and Culture for one calendar year. Correspondence with authors, advisory editors, referees (between two and five for each article), and editorial and production staff of the University of Chicago Press is also included. The materials are arranged chronologically by year. These files are closed for thirty years from the date of the last correspondence in the individual folder. They may be opened, on a case-by-case basis, through appeal to the SHOT Editorial Committee.
Series 10: Office Business Files, 1983-2007, consists of files from the Technology and Culture offices. Many of the files relate to the journal's redesign, editors, and search for a university press to publish the journal.