SOCIETY FOR THE HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY (SHOT) RECORDS, 1956-1998, #400
(95 cubic feet; 285 DB)
by: Robert S. Harding, 1999
I. GENERAL RECORDS, 1956-1996 comprise one hundred and twelve letter-size container boxes of documents relating to SHOT from its inception in 1958 to 1996. The Container List that follows these series descriptions identifies box numbers for all series in sequential order. These documents 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.
The General Records have been grouped into ten series based on the functions of this professional organization of scholars interested in the history of technology. Thus, in addition to a series on the formation of SHOT in 1958, other series relate to its committees and officers and their correspondence regarding day-to-day activities of the Society over the years. Financial records, preparation for annual membership meetings and other more specialized meetings comprise other series. Publication of newsletters and brochures depicting 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 (Boxes 1-2)
Covers period of active organizing work, including membership, officers, finances, publicity and drafting of constitution for SHOT. Includes 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. Material is arranged chronologically within these groups.
Includes 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 is usually made up of a combination of academicians and practicing engineers and industrialists. The records of the Executive Council 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 SHOT Brochure and Museum Exhibit Awards Program. In addition, Series 5 contains the Minutes of many Executive Council meetings, 1958-1992.
The Advisory Council 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 Nominating Committee 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 between 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 Editorial Committee 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 Documents Committee's mission is 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 Program Committee 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 between members of the Committee--and with Kranzberg--regarding program sessions and participants at various meetings and other committee business and priorities; the program of SHOT 1983 annual meeting; and various program reports, 1959-1985.
The records of Other Committees 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.
Officers and Committee Appointments contain lists of SHOT committee officers, as well as correspondence and memoranda regarding committee and SHOT officers' appointments and acceptances.
Special Interest Groups 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 Awards Committee is an advisory committee created to establish conditions and to recommended recipients for various SHOT medals and awards, such as the Usher, Dexter and da Vinci. The power to actually 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 Leonardo da Vinci Medal of SHOT is awarded for outstanding contributions to the history of technology by research, teaching, publication, or otherwise. This material consists mostly of correspondence between 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 Dexter Prize, sponsored by the Dexter Chemical Corporation of New York City, is an annual prize of $1,000 for the best book in 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 Robinson Prize was established by the Executive Council and is awarded annually. It consists of a certificate and a check for $150 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 Levinson Prize is awarded for an author's first manuscript intended for publication. There is a cash award of $250 and an appropriate plaque. Included is correspondence to and from SHOT officers regarding the establishment and the awarding of this prize.
Miscellaneous Awards material mostly contains 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 (Boxes 12-16)
Correspondence of SHOT officers is divided into 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
This series includes the following: 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 (Boxes 34-45)
Minutes of the Executive Council and annual general membership meetings, as well as records of preparatory work for annual meetings of SHOT are 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.
Reports and correspondence to and from officers and members of SHOT are arranged chronologically. Included are inquiries from prospective members, responses by SHOT Secretary, statistics of membership, questionnaires, and invitations to join SHOT.
SERIES 7: NEWSLETTER, 1958-1997 (Boxes 47-56)
The SHOT newsletter and records of its publication are 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
SHOT's publication of numerous monographs generated correspondence and committee meeting minutes relating to editorial review, printing problems and royalties. These are arranged by subject.
SHOT's numerous official contacts with other professional societies, including joint meetings, generated correspondence, minutes, etc. 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: CONTINUING
This series represents 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.
Revised: March 31, 2000