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(Hopefully) New Computer "Museum" in Utica, NY

sciencegirl100

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Jun 11, 2016
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63
Location
Utica, New York, USA
So, I attend SUNY Polytechnic in Utica, NY and I've been snatching up the legacy equipment and all sorts of old tech I can find. I will be mixing it in with my own collection and creating a small museum for the systems. I'm currently trying to get a whole room for it, as most professors love to snatch up as much space as they can. When my new site goes online, I'll have all of the details updated there. How should I organize it and what kind of details should I have for each computer? I won't have too much space, so the systems will be on shelves and racks. Any advice on running something like this would be greatly appreciated.
 

billdeg

Technician
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Nov 18, 2003
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Landenberg, PA USA
visit other museums, take notes what you like. Does not have to be computer museums. Public displays of personal collections are often eclectic based on the ower's interest. Try to specialize in something, but make sure you're collection is safely stored. Tempting for someone to walk up and borrow a keycap, etc.
Bill
 

Druid6900

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May 7, 2006
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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Since you are at a university (and may get more resources if you try this approach), you might want to arrange it as a time-line sort of museum showing the progression of the state of computing from when the university first appeared and now.

Might pry loose some interesting items if the university will turn out the old hardware they may have squirreled away...

It's something to investigate and they will have a vested interest in it showing well.....
 

sciencegirl100

Experienced Member
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Jun 11, 2016
Messages
63
Location
Utica, New York, USA
nice idea, maybe if it gets noticed by the SUNY state system, I can get facilities to let me into the e-waste pile!
It's a nice dream, I hope it can come true! :p
 

Druid6900

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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
If you try, and really sell it, it might just happen.

I'd chat up people in the computer sciences to garner some support from them before formally presenting the idea to anyone though.
 

billdeg

Technician
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Nov 18, 2003
Messages
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Location
Landenberg, PA USA
If you have already thought of all this, disregard the following comments, but here is what comes to mind when I think of this project...

When I was teaching computer history at the U of Delaware we set up a few displays around campus using the display areas available throughout campus. See if you can start with that. Maybe SUNY has some items of their own that are targeted to SUNY that they'd like to show too. Faculty would love to show off their stuff and that's a way to get them involved. Give your museum a focus if you can. See if you can tie it the history of computing around SUNY (IBM comes to mind) Talk to the Comp Sci or Comp EE assistant dean or whomever you know and ask if you can discuss your ideas and project. Maybe they already have contacts at IBM. Start off small, show dedication and organization, make a good exhibit and then start accumulating them with good photos or videos to demo. Over time you'll have enough for a full room, etc. It's hard to convince a school to hand over space for a museum without some sort of track record. ALso, you have to honestly review what artifacts you have, do you really have enough for a museum or just a few good exhibits? Think like a university admin who will have to help you, figure out what is realistic.
 
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