Friday, June 26, 2009

How Does One Analyze and Categorize the Notes of an Important Person?

In my research for my monthly fuel cell newsletter, I scan hundreds of Requests for Proposals or Information from the government, but this is the first that has intrigued me so much that I thought it might be relevant to my literary friends...

NASA has a full collection of Dr. Wernher von Braun's Weekly Notes, written during the 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Von Braun was the first director of the Marshall Space Flight Center and is considered a key figure in the development of the Saturn V rocket and NASAs Apollo program. These notes were used to track programmatic and institutional issues at MSFC, and are considered by many historians to be a valuable source of historic data... NASA is issuing a request for information to seek comments from the public, academia, and industry to address aspects or concepts on how NASA should proceed to analyze and catalog these notes into an electronic, searchable database or other medium. NASA is looking for concepts to provide an innovative resource for researchers in academia and industry.

I thought that many folks in literary academia might have insights on how the writings of important literary figures have been catalogued so as to be available to researchers, and might have an interest in responding to NASAs RFI.

It is fascinating to me to think that every single note a person has written may have some relevance in his/her field, and that researchers decades down the road will have need to access that single thought to put it to use for a modern quandry.

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