The Information Services Collection includes an extensive set of resources related to the conception and evolution of the global information services that were first envisioned by early computing pioneers and that we now take for granted today. It picks up from where the Trailblazers Collection leaves off and encompasses teletext and videotex systems (e.g. Mintel), commercial information services (AOL, CompuServe, The Source, Prodigy etc.), early internet directory services (Gopher and WAIS), resources related to the World Wide Web (WWW/Web/HTML) as well as original documentation related to the Networked Multimedia Information Services (NMIS) project.
Early Information Services
The collection includes books and documentation about early teletext and videotex systems in the US and Europe (especially Minitel).
Bulletin Board System (BBS)
The collection has a variety of resources related to the dial-up BBSs that were popular during the early days of personal computing.
Commercial Information Services
The collection includes documentation and software for commercial services such as America Online (AOL), CompuServe, The Source and Prodigy.
Early Internet Directory Services
The collection has resources related to the development, evolution and ultimate demise of the early internet directory services Gopher and Wide Area Information Server (WAIS) that were popular before the World Wide Web.
World Wide Web (WWW)
The collection includes extensive resources related to the development and evolution of the World Wide Web (WWW/Web). Artifacts include things like the original HTML specification (printed/used in 1993) and an authorized copy of Tim Berners-Lee’s talk at the 1995 MIT/Brown Vannevar Bush Symposium.
The collection also includes an extensive set of books, documentation for authoring software for all versions of HTML and related specifications (graphics, scripting etc.).
This is an active archive in that the New Media Museum maintains the ability to post HTML files to an account on TheWorld which is operated by Software Tool & Die and was the first commercial internet service provider (ISP).1
Networked Multimedia Information Services (NMIS)
The collection also includes ten linear feet of books, articles and documentation related to the types of internet services that began to be developed at the same time as the World Wide Web was gaining popularity.
Most of the material was gathered as part of Mary Hopper’s work editing a final report on the Networked Multimedia Information Services (NMIS) Project which was as a collection of experiments and research studies that explored the new frontier of Internet-delivered multimedia. The project focused on what we called the “end to end” problem, i.e. how multimedia information will be created, regulated, distributed, paid for and used by consumers. It was a jointly undertaken by three universities: MIT, Dartmouth College and Medical School Carnegie Mellon University, and two corporate sponsors: the IBM Corporation and Turner Broadcasting operating under grants from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency and the National Science Foundation. As with any research initiative exploring new Internet services, the program underwent numerous revisions as the Internet (and the technologies on which it is based) changed. This report summarized the results of this four year long research program. 2
These are some of the most relevant books in the collection. More…
1 The resources were used to support the course ECOMP 6009: Weaving the World Wide Web (Lesley University).
2 Hopper, M. E. (Ed.) (1997). Networked Multimedia Information Services: Final report. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Educational Computing Initiatives.