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About The Dig

The Dig is the creation of University of Colorado Boulder students enrolled in the Spring 2020 edition of INFO 3101 History of Computing and Information, under the supervision of Dr. Roshanna P. Sylvester.

Each student researched a piece of hardware or software from the collection at the Media Archeology Lab (MAL) - a unique repository of historically important media technologies that gives visitors a chance for hands-on exploration.

To learn more, please browse the items in our archive or explore our exhibits:

Hardware Histories

Software Histories

About the MAL

Founded in 2009 and generously supported by the College of Media, Communication and Information as well as the Department of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder and resting on traditional territories of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations, the motto of the Media Archaeology Lab (MAL) is that “the past must be lived so that the present can be seen.”

Nearly all digital media labs are conceived of as a place for experimental research using the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tools available. By contrast, the MAL—which very well might be the largest of its kind in the world—is a place for cross-disciplinary experimental research and teaching using still functioning media from the past.

The MAL is propelled equally by the need to both preserve and maintain access to historically important media of all kinds—from magic lanterns, projectors, and typewriters to personal computers from the 1970s through the 1990s, as well as early works of digital literature/art which were created on the hardware/software housed in the lab.

In terms of our collection of digital devices alone, we currently house over 35 portables/laptops, 73 desktop computers, 22 handheld devices, 8 other computing devices, and 10 game consoles.

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