Monday, June 30, 2014

OI Staff Newsletter

 [First posted in OI History 13 February 2009, updated 30 June 2014]

Beginning in February 1998, with the encouragement and support of Gene Gragg who was then Director of the Oriental Institute, I compiled, edited and distributed by email an internal newsletter for the staff of the Oriental Institute. It chronicled the activities of the departments of the OI, and of individual scholars and senior students at the OI. It was distributed widely in the University of Chicago community by means of a listhost mailing list, but its archive was not publicly available.

It appeared on or about the first Monday of each month of the academic year. All told there are 63 issues which appeared between February 1998 and March 2005. It began at about the time of the completion of the basic construction of the New Wing of the Oriental Institute. It ceased at the time I left the Oriental Institute.

It provides a very interesting monthly snapshot of the activities of the OI over that seven year period, and many of the words appearing in it, reappear in later forms in the Oriental Institute Annual Reports.

In the early 1930's there had been another such effort: "Bulletin to the Staff of the Oriental Institute", of which only a couple of issues appeared.

Unfortunately, as with the old ANE list, the online archive of the staff newsletter no longer exists. It seems now likely that the only remaining digital version is resident on the hard drive of a now failing laptop of my own. Fortunately, there is a hard copy on the shelf in the OI Research Archives.

Thanks to the work of OI Research Archivist, Bibliographer Foy Scalf, who began to scan the had copies and upon discovering that they were incomplete, urging me to try to recover the lost files from a ten year old laptop, we now have a complete set available. So a small piece of Oriental Institute microhistoy in now recovered and preserved. They are available at Oriental Institute Staff Newsletter, and via the links below: