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Science in the Archives – Pasts, Presents, Futures - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Science in the Archives: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Lorraine Daston


The natural and the human sciences depend on archives just as much as they depend on the laboratory, the observatory, the field, the library, and other sites of research. For sciences that track phenomena that unfold on a superhuman timescale, such as astronomy and paleonotology, the preservation and retrieval of remnants of the past, whether in the form of observations or fossils, is a precondition for present and future research. In other sciences, such as medicine or climatology, past data may suddenly become urgently relevant when a new pattern is detected: has this disease ever been obser ... More

Keywords: scientific archives, databases, libraries, Big Data, collections, data retrieval

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226432229
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226432533.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lorraine Daston, editor
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

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