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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Silicon Valley’s technological motherlode is an unlikely find site for traditional excavation, but it provides contemporary archaeologists with a unique take on material culture. The author, who is also a journalist, witnessed the rapid change-over-time in the fortunes of Silicon Valley during the dotcom boom, and bust of 1999/2000. She has continued her fieldwork over the past decade, and she argues that the cycle of technology-from cutting edge to redundancy-and those whose prescience has preserved the discards of technology, offer valuable material for contemporary archaeology. She situates the assemblages of computer collectors, with the curated artefacts in tech museums, and other institutions engaged with the history of computing, and suggests that it is the hobbyists, often with specialist insight into a family of product or machine, who have played a valuable role in saving Silicon Valley heritage by collecting at a time of accelerating discard.

Keywords: Silicon Valley, Apple Computers, computer collectors, Computer History Museum, Sellam Ismail, Steve Jobs, redundant technology, California

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