About

This is a blog for my research and work interests, which includes digital object and media preservation, especially video game and other creative objects, as well as the technical history of computing.

I am a graduate of the School of Information at UT Austin and a former intern at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. I researched digital object preservation and curation, specifically the intellectual and descriptive treatment of born-digital media objects. I work at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Research

I contributed to the Preserving Video Games IMLS research project, which aimed to propose a more meaningful model for the preservation of video games through an investigation of their creation process. We interviewed game developers and conducted studies investigating the communicative value of surrogate game media such as: video, image and text. One product of that work was a paper I co-authored with Dr. Megan Winget:

ACM DL Author-ize serviceGame development documentation and institutional collection development policy

Megan A. Winget, William Walker Sampson
JCDL ’11 Proceedings of the 11th annual international ACM/IEEE joint conference on Digital libraries, 2011

IDCC 2010

IDCC 2010

I also presented a poster on our work at the 6th International Digital Curation Conference. The old project blog is here.

Digital Media Preservation

I assisted the UT Videogame Archive at the Center for American History with disk imaging and recovery of legacy media (3.5 and 5.25 inch floppies). This material included original audio data and audio composition software used by the game developer, along with other game data.

I continued similar work with the imaging and migration of interview transcripts from the 1988 Presidential Election Study, conducted by the LBJ School of Public Affairs. This data was stored on single-sided 5.25 inch disks in DOS-era Nota Bene format. Nearly 400 disks were imaged and cataloged. I wrote PHP scripts to batch process file listing data (generally from Sleuthkit’s fls utility) into Dublin Core XML records for submission into the UT Digital Repository, a DSpace repository.

Records Management

I volunteered extensively at the Austin Goodwill Computer Museum, now the Museum of Computer Culture. I designed and implemented a database and interface for tracking the museum’s holdings and accessions. These holdings include vintage hardware, software, engineer notes and manuals. After a report and recommendation, I migrated these MySQL records into Dublin Core XML files for ingest into a Fedora repository instance. That repository has hosted a NHPRC project focused on cataloging the museum’s expansive holdings. Records for that repository are now located at the School of Information, UT Austin archive.

Other

I have some photos at VSCO.