That Darn USB Format

I had a very simple problem to solve: How can works of e-lit published on USB sticks be stored with other works produced on floppies, diskettes, and CD-ROMs without the sticks getting lost on the shelf?

––I mean, I had already lost a copy of Jackson’s Patchwork Girl  purchased when it was first released and one of the two copies of the Anthology of European Electronic Literature Scott sent me a couple of years ago. By now, I had collected two copies each of Michael Joyce’s afternoon: a story and Mark Bernstein’s Those Trojan Girls. All were sitting on the shelf near where they would be filed by the author’s last name. Something had to be done, else I’d lose these, too.

I looked online at various archival product stores and scoured my print catalogs for a solution, but it seems libraries are not putting USB material on shelves for patrons for obvious reasons (see previous paragraphs). What is available is intended for deep storage––and certainly not for sitting on a shelf filled with legacy formats.

A night of insomnia gave me time to ponder this challenge and to devise a solution: jewelry boxes.

Today I headed to my local craft store and purchased 12 white boxes. I created labels for each author and work with Photoshop, printed them up, and cut them to fit the spines of the boxes.

Et voilá!

Not perfect but also not bad for the time being.






Dene Grigar is Director and Professor of the CMDC Program. She specializes in electronic literature, emerging technologies and cognition, and ephemera.