The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration
MIND: Documenting Invention

Inventing | Documenting | Things to Collect | Resources


From the Lemelson Center

About the Modern Inventors Documentation Program (MIND):

An Inventor's Guide to the Preservation, Protection, and Donation of Personal Papers

"Documenting Invention: The Origins of the MIND Program," by Alison Oswald

Lemelson Center Documentation Research Reports:


Archival Practice

Abraham, Terry. “Documentation Strategies: A Decade (or More) Later.” A paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, Washington, D.C., August 31, 1995. Posted online at: -collections/papers/docstr10.htm

Abraham, Terry and Scott Cline. “Literature Survey: Collection Policy or Documentation Strategy: Theory and Practice,” American Archivist, Vol. 54, No. 1 (winter 1991), pp. 44-52.

AIP Study of Multi-Institutional Collaborations. Phase I: High-Energy Physics. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1992.

AIP Study of Multi-Institutional Collaborations. Phase II: Space Science & Geophysics. College Park: American Institute of Physics, 1995.

AIP Study of Multi-Institutional Collaborations. Phase III: Ground-Based Astronomy, Materials Science, Heavy-Ion and Nuclear Physics, Medical Physics, and Computer-Mediated Collaborations. College Park: American Institute of Physics, October 1999.

AIP Study of Multi-Institutional Collaborations. Final Report. College Park: American Institute of Physics, May 2001.

Alexander, Philip N. and Helen Samuels. “The Roots of 128: A Hypothetical Documentation Strategy,” American Archivist, Vol. 50, No. 4 (fall 1987), pp. 518-531).

Anderson, R. Joseph and Orville R. Butler. History of Physicists in Industry: Final Report, College Park, MD: American Institute of Physics, October 2008.

Bruemmer, Bruce H. and Sheldon Hocheiser. The High-Technology Company: A Historical Research and Archival Guide. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1989.

Cox, Richard J. “The Documentation Strategy and Archival Appraisal Practices: A Different Perspective,” Archivaria, Vol. 38 (fall 1994), pp. 11-36.

Hackman, Larry and Joan Warnow-Blewett. “The Documentation Strategy Process: A Model and a Case Study,” American Archivist, Vol. 50, No. 1 (winter 1987), pp. 12-47.

Hunter, Gregory S. Preserving Digital Information: A How-To-Do-It Manual. Neal-Schuman, New York, 2000.

Jimerson, Randall, ed. American Archival Studies: Readings in Theory and Practice. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2000.

Krizack Haas, Joan, Helen W. Samuels, and Barbara Trippel Simmons. Appraising the Records of Modern Science and Technology: A Guide. Boston: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985.

O'Toole, James M. and Richard J. Cox. Understanding Archives and Manuscripts (Archival Fundamentals Series II). Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006.

Ritzenthaler, Mary Lynn. Preserving Archives and Manuscripts (2nd ed.). Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2010.

Samuels, Helen Willa. “Who Controls the Past,” American Archivist, Vol. 49, No. 2 (spring 1986), pp. 109-124.

Schlereth, Thomas J., ed. Material Culture: A Research Guide. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985.

Warnow-Blewett, Joan. “Documenting Recent Science Progress and Needs,” OSIRIS, 2nd. Series, 1992, 7:267-298.

Warnow-Blewett, Joan. The Role of a Discipline History Center, Part II: Promoting Archives and Research in Science and Technology. College Park, MD: American Institute of Physics, 1989.

Warnow-Blewett, Joan. Saving the Records of Science and Technology: The Role of a Discipline History Center. College Park, MD: American Institute of Physics, 1987.

Oral and Video History

Barnickel. Linda. Oral History for the Family Historian: A Basic Guide. Oral History Association, 2006.

Harper, Douglas. “Talking About Pictures: A Case for Photo Elicitation,” Visual Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1 (2002), pp. 13-26.

Henderson, Sheila J. “Product Inventors and Creativity: The Finer Dimensions of Enjoyment,” Creativity Research Journal, Vol. 16, Nos. 2 & 3 (2004), pp. 293-312.

Mackay, Nancy. Curating Oral Histories: From Interview to Archive. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2006.

Matters, Marion. Oral History Cataloging Manual. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1995.

Mercier, Laurie and Madeline Buckendorf. Using Oral History in Community History Projects. Oral History Association, 2007.

Neuenschwander, John A. A Guide to Oral History and the Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Nevada Test Site and Oral History Project website. University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Transcripts or interviews with persons affiliated with and affected by the Nevada Test Site during the era of cold war nuclear testing.

Perks, Robert and Alistair Thompson, eds. The Oral History Reader (2nd. ed.). Abingdon, U.K.: Routledge, 2006.

Ritchie, Donald A. Doing Oral History. New York: Twayne, 1995.

Schorzman, Terri A., ed. A Practical Introduction to Videohistory: The Smithsonian Institution and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Experiment. Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1993.

Stielow, Frederick J. The Management of Oral History Sound Archives. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986.

Sommer, Barbara W. and Mary Kay Quinlan. The Oral History Manual (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2010.

Wood, Linda P. Oral History Projects in Your Classroom. Oral History Association, 2001.


Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1992.

Giedeon, Sigfried. Space, Time and Architecture (5th ed.). Boston: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Mitchell, W. J. T. Landscape and Power (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Schama, Simon. Landscape and Memory. New York: Vintage Press, 1996.

Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathem, eds.. Landscape, Memory, and History: Anthropological Perspectives. London: Pluto Press, 2003.

Tuan, Yi-Fu and Steven Hoelscher. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience (2nd ed.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.

Historic Preservation

Alanen, Arnold R. and Robert Z. Melnick, eds. Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Dubrow, Gail Lee and Jennifer B. Goodman. Restoring Women's History through Historic Preservation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

Fitch, James M. Historic Preservation: Curatorial Management of the Built World. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1990.

Glassberg, David. Sense of History: The Place of the Past in American Life. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2001.

Hayden, Dolores. “Placemaking, Preservation, and Urban History,” Journal of Architectural Education, Vol. 41 , No. 3 (spring 1988), pp. 45-51.

Hayden, Dolores. The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

Johnson, Joan Marie. “’Ye Gave Them a Stone’: African American Women’s Clubs, the Frederick Douglass Home, and the Black Mammy Movement,” Journal of Women’s History, Vol. 17, No. 1 (spring 2005), pp. 62-86.

Lee, Antoinette J., ed. Past Meets Future: Saving America's Historic Environments. Washington DC: Wiley, 1992.

Lindgren, James. Preserving Historic New England: Preservation, Progressivism, and the Remaking of Memory. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Murtagh, William. Keeping Time: The History and Theory of Preservation in America. Pittstown, NJ: Main Street Press, 1988.

Page, Max and Randy Mason. Giving Preservation a History: Histories of Historic Preservation in the United States. New York: Routledge, 2003.

Price, Nicholas Stanley, M. Kirby Talley Jr., and Alessandra Vacarro, eds. Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 1996.

Stipes, Robert. A Richer Heritage: Historic Preservation in the 21st Century. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Tyler, Norman. Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.

Wallace, Mike. Mickey Mouse History and Other Essays on American Memory. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.

Women and Minority Inventors

Abir-Am, Pnina and Dorinda Outram, eds. Uneasy Careers and Intimate Loves: Women in Science, 1789-1979. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1987.

Abir-Am, Pnina, Helena Pycior and Nancy Slac, eds. Creative Couples in Science. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996.

Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books, 1983.

Creager, Angela N. H., Elizabeth A. Lunbeck, and Londa Schieberg, eds. Feminism in Twentieth-century Science, Technology, and Medicine. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Doel, Ronald E. and Thomas Soderqvist, eds. Writing Recent Science: New Directions in the History of Science. London: Routledge, 2007.

Fouché, Rayvon. Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation: Granville T. Woods, Lewis H. Latimer, and Shelby J. Davidson. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

Gluck, Sherna Berger. Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Women, War, and Social Change. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987.

Gluck, Sherna Berger and Daphne Patai, eds. Women’s Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History. New York: Routledge, 991.

Henson, Pamela M. and Schorzman, Terri A. “Videohistory: Focusing on the American Past,” Journal of American History, Vol. 78, No. 2 (September 1991), pp. 618-627.

James, Portia P. The Real McCoy: African-American Invention and Innovation, 1619-1930. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.

Kohlstedt, Sally Gregory. “In from the Periphery: American Women in Science, 1830-1880,” Signs, Vol. 4, No. 1 (autumn 1978), pp. 81-96.

Pursell, Carroll W., ed. A Hammer in Their Hands: A Documentary History of Technology and the African-American Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.

Rossiter, Margaret W. Women Scientists in America: Before Affirmative Action, 1940-1972. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

Rossiter, Margaret W. Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies to 1940. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.

Ruffins, Fath Davis. “’Lifting as We Climb': Black Women and the Preservation of African American History and Culture.” Gender and History 6, No. 3 (November 1994, pp. 376-396.

Sinclair, Bruce, ed. Technology and the African-American Experience: Needs and Opportunities for Study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004.

Sluby, Patricia Carter. Creativity and Inventions: The Genius of Afro-Americans and Women in the United States and Their Patents. Arlington, VA: Research Unlimited, 1987.

Sluby, Patricia Carter. The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.

Warren, Wini. Black Women Scientists in the United States. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.

Understanding Workspaces

Allen, Thomas and Gunther Henn. The Organization and Architecture of Innovation: Managing the Flow of Technology. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007.

Audia, Pino and Christopher Rider. “A Garage and an Idea: What More Does an Entrepreneur Need?” California Management Review 48, No. 1 (2005), pp. 6-28.

Biggs, Lindy. The Rational Factory: Architecture, Technology and Work in America’s Age of Mass Production. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Brand, Stephen. “Sparks of Innovation: Observing the Elements that Lead to Creative and Innovative Success,” Ph.D. diss., Case Western Reserve University, May 2004.

Brand, Stewart. How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built. New York: Viking, 1994.

Brown, Kenneth A. Inventors at Work: Interviews with Sixteen Notable American Inventors. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 1988.

Burns, John A., ed. Recording Historic Structures. Washington, DC: American Institute of Architects Press, 1989.

Castilla, Emilio, Hokyu Hwang, Ellen Granovetter, and Mark Granovetter. “Social Networks in Silicon Valley,” in The Silicon Valley Edge, Chong-Moon Lee, William F. Miller, Marguerite Gong Hancock, and Henry S. Rowen, eds. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

Feldman, Maryann P. The Geography of Innovation. Boston: Kluwer Academic, 1994.

Franz, Kathleen. Tinkering: Consumers Reinvent the Early Automobile. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

Friedel, Robert and Paul Israel. Edison’s Electric Light: Biography of an Invention. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1986.

Galison, Peter and Emily Thompson. The Architecture of Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.

Gieryn, Thomas. “What Buildings Do,” Theory and Society, Vol. 31, No. 1 (February 2002), pp. 35-74.

Gilmor, C. Stewart. Fred Terman at Stanford: Building a Discipline, a University, and Silicon Valley. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.

Golinski, Jan. Making Natural Knowledge. Constructivism and the History of Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998, 2005.

Graham, Margaret B. W. and Alec T. Shuldiner. Corning and the Craft of Innovation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Halpern, Richard, and Roger Horowitz. Meatpackers: An Oral History of Black Packinghouse Workers and Their Struggle for Racial and Economic Equality. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1999.

Hapgood, Fred. Up the Infinite Corridor: MIT and the Technical Imagination. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993.

Harper, Douglas. Working Knowledge: Skill and Community in a Small Shop. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Herbig, Paul. “An Inquiry into the Causes of the Formation of Innovative Hotspots,” Futures Research Quarterly 9, No. 3 (1993), pp. 65-94.

Israel, Paul. From Machine Shop to Industrial Laboratory: Telegraphy and the Changing Context of American Invention, 1830-1920. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.

Kelley, Tom. The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm. New York: Doubleday, 2001.

Leslie, Stuart W. “Electronics and the Geography of Innovation in Post-War America,” History and Technology 11, No. 2 (1994), pp. 217-232.

Livingstone, David N. Putting Science in Its Place: Geographies of Scientific Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Lugar, Michael. Technology in the Garden: Research Parks and Regional Economic Development. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

Meyer, Peter. “Episodes of Collective Invention,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper 368 (2003).

Miettinen, Reijo. “The Sources of Novelty: A Cultural and Systemic View of Distributed Creativity,” Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 15, No. 2 (June 2006), pp. 173-181.

Mumford, Michael and others. “Leading Creative People: Orchestrating Expertise and Relationships,” Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 6 (December 2002), pp. 705-750.

Niosi, Jorge and Tomas Bas. “Biotechnology Megacentres: Montreal and Toronto Regional Systems of Innovation,” European Planning Studies, Vol. 11, No. 7 (October 2003), pp. 789-804.

O’Mara, Margaret. Cities of Knowledge: Cold War Science and the Search for the Next Silicon Valley. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Orr, Julian E. Talking About Machines: An Ethnography of a Modern Job. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996.

Penn, Alan, Jake Desyllas, and Laura Vaughan. “The Space of Innovation: Interaction and Communication in the Work Environment,” Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1999), pp. 193-218.

Places of Invention: The First Lemelson Institute. Washington, DC: Lemelson Center, 2007.

Pretzer, William S., ed. Working at Inventing: Thomas A. Edison and the Menlo Park Experience. (2nd ed.) Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Riordan, Michael and Lillian Hoddeson. Crystal Fire: The Invention of the Transistor and the Birth of the Information Age. New York: W. W. Norton, 1997.

Sawhney, Harmeet and Seungwhan Lee. “Arenas of Innovation: Understanding New Configurational Potentialities of Communication Technologies,” Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 27, No. 3 (May 2005), pp. 391-414.

Saxenian, Anna Lee. Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.

Thomson, Mark. Blokes & Sheds. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1995.

Thrift, Nigel. “Reinventing Invention: The Generalization of Outsourcing and Other New Forms of Efficacy under Globalization,” unpublished paper.

Weber, Robert J. and David N. Perkins, eds. Inventive Minds: Creativity in Technology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Last Update: 29 Dec 2010

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