Reply To: InterAction: Request to Purchase a Collection for University Archive

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Hey guys–

Thanks for the feedback. I’m aware we’re hunting down something pretty rare, but one has to start somewhere. You’d be surprised at the 100s of materials we already have, including stuff with potentially smaller press runs than InterAction. We’ve already got a few issues, donated by large scale collectors who had copies not because of any interest in Sierra specifically, but because they wanted extensive materials collections.

The PDFs are a great resource, and one I make use of quite a bit–a chapter of my dissertation is on Sierra (I had an intention of doing oral histories at one point, as some of you may remember, but it has turned out to be too large of a project for just a diss). Unfortunately, a university can’t reproduce these magazines on their own website because of copyright issues, and keeping digital copies on file creates digital media obsolescence concerns, although that’s a potential option for any issues we can’t get ahold of. One reason we go after the real magazines (beyond the importance of studying the physical object) is that websites don’t last forever. Even this website might have closed its doors had Andy not stepped in to maintain it. It’s not hard to imagine that a century from now no one will have even heard of Sierra, and this website will be long gone, and no one’s grandchildren will be all that interested in holding onto a box a magazines from some late 20th century video game company. Our preservation goals are long term, aimed at outliving any of us…not to be too morbid 😉 Point being, we’ll even take donations of individual issues, if that’s all someone has.

If anyone’s interested in video game archives, they’re actually a bit more common than you might think, and you might even live near one! There’s game archives of varying sorts at several schools in CA, in Texas, Michigan, and some smaller ones escaping my memory right now. If you live in the northeast or Canada, the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY is an awesome sight, with extensive collections of material and digital artifacts. The Smithsonian will also have a video game art exhibition up (within the next year, I think), so you should check that out…although sadly, Sierra isn’t in it.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts! And if anyone has any questions or thoughts, I’m always happy to chat.