Texas Tech University

Guest Lecturer Abby Smith Rumsey

Abby Smith Rumsey

On March 2, 2017, we welcomed Abby Smith Rumsey, whose most recent book is When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future (2016). As Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, writes of the book: "What Oliver Sacks did for the physical mind, Abby Smith Rumsey is doing for our evolving digital mind—making the history and complexity of our collective memory vital to everyone." Rumsey trained as a historian at Harvard and worked for over a decade at the Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in development of a national strategy to identify, collect, and preserve digital content of long-term value. Her work investigates the history of preserving knowledge and memories—right back to cave paintings—and points to the challenges of the present and future, when the precarity of ever-evolving softwares and hardwares may threaten the loss of massive amounts of data.

For more information, please visit: Rumsey Writes


Abby Smith RumseyAbby Smith Rumsey presented her talk "Digital Memory: What Can We Afford to Lose?" on March 2, 2017, in the Southwest Collection's Formby Room. Photo by Neal Hinkle
Rumsey and StudentsAbby Smith Rumsey, center, speaks with Classics MA students Jackson Vaughn, left, and Andrew Simmons, right, at the reception following her talk, which reflected work in her book When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future (2016). Photo by Neal Hinkle
Rumsey and FacultyAbby Smith Rumsey, second from right, flanked by Dorothy Chansky, Director of TTU Humanities Center, Kent Wilkinson (Media & Communication), and Senior Vice Provost Rob Stewart. Photo by Neal Hinkle

Humanities Center