George Romney Papers  1920s-1973
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CONFER Sessions [subseries]

The CONFER Sessions subseries is comprised of paper printouts from a subset of computer-based conferences that ran on the University of Michigan mainframe computing system (Michigan Terminal System) from 1975 to 1994. These were printed by Zinn, and are indicative of his involvement and interests. This subseries provides an informative view of the introduction, evolution and use of a new technology designed specifically to support computer-based communications. The subseries includes RP.CONFER the original conference that utilized the CONFER I application program; student administered conferences; conferences used to supplement class discussion; and a series of conferences designed for the International Science and Technology Assessment Congress held in Ann Arbor in 1976. The CONFER Sessions subseries is divided into Public Conferences and University of Michigan Class Conferences. Access to the latter is restricted in accord with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The CONFER paper printouts are essentially a static snapshot of an asynchronous communications system. The term "snapshot" is used as the original functionality of the CONFER II system are features that could not be replicated in the paper printouts. In addition, not all entries, once posted within the system, could be captured in the paper printout as some entries were time-dependent and were deleted on a specific schedule. Lastly, the interactive nature of CONFER can not be adequately captured in a static document. As Zinn describes in a welcome message, literally "hundreds of participants passed by this electronic bulletin board from day to day."7 A sense of the features and the evolution of the use and functionality of the system can be gained by consulting the User Reference Documentation series and Robert Parnes' dissertation. The features and use of the technology can also be realized through some of the CONFERS themselves. Robert Parnes used CONFER as a testbed and one will often see Parnes "step" into a particular session to query users about the functionality of specific features and to announce changes to the system.

CONFER printouts are available in two sizes. For the most part, conferences dating from 1975 to about 1980 were printed on 15" x 11" paper, and conferences dating after 1980 were printed on standard 8 1/2" x 11" paper. For the larger sized conferences, the cover sheet of the printout includes the job number that produced the conference report, the system source, and the date and time the report was generated. Later printouts do not include all of this information but do include the date the session was printed to paper.

Entries within conferences generally include the item number, date and time, number of lines for a particular entry, author, subject line and a calculation of the number of related items on this topic within the conference. Many of the conferences include an index of topics discussed and a directory of participants. The index is generally found at the start of the conference and the directory of participants at the end. In addition, many conferences also include as one of the first entries a welcome message from the conference organizer that includes a brief description of the purpose of the conference. CONFER II and later CONFER U were in use at the University of Michigan from 1975 until September 1, 1999. A summary of the CONFER sessions located in this collection appears below.

[Sources: CRLT:MICROS, Volume IV, A snapshot of dialogue on microcomputers in education, ca. October 1983 and USER:FORUM, Recent changes to Confer, Item 6, 05:09 Sep08/82, posted by Bob Parnes.]

 
Public Conferences  1975-circa 1980
Box   1  
Activity Report  1977
Box   1  
CAP: SHARE  August 1976-June 1977 (2 folders)
Box   1  
CAP: WAR  1976-1977
Box   1  
CAP: SUMMER  June-July 1978
Box   1  
CONFER, List of Conferences at the University of Michigan  1976-1977
Box   1  
CONFER II, User's Guide, August 31,1977
Box   1  
CRLT: G804  January-April 1979 (oversized printout)
Box   1  
CRLT: Conference, Listing of Descriptors and Items  circa 1975 (oversized printout)
Box   1  
CRLT: Conference  September 1976-April 1977

(oversized printout)

Box   2  
2G2B: Staff  January-April 1993
Box   2  
AIGP: Forum (Artificial Intelligence)  March 1983-1987 (3 folders)
Box   2  
ARCH: Forum  November 1986-April 1987
Box   2  
CABA: Micro-Ed  February 1984 (2 folders)
Box   2  
CAUCUS  January-April 1976
Box   2  
CPS: Word (CONFER Problems and Suggestions)  February 1983-January 1984 (2 folders)
Box   2  
GRAF: Graphics  November 1977-March 1989
Box   2  
IEAR: Advisors, (Advisory services for computers in education)  December 1982-April 1983
Box   2  
LINK: ART  April 1987-June 1988
Box   2  
LISA-MAC  April-April 1984 (2 folders)
Box   2  
LOGO: Forum  May 1985-April 1987
Box   2  
MICH: EIC, (Michigan Effective Instruction Consortium)  December 1988-June 1989
Box   2  
MICH: GIFTEd  August 1989
Box   2  
MICH: SPEDTEC  November 1985
Box   2  
MCUL: CURE  September-December 1986
Box   2  
MCUL: Forum  January 1988-May 1989
Box   2  
MCUL: SIGCC  April 1986-May 1989
 
MSTA: Forum (Michigan Science Teachers Association)
Box   2  
 February 1985-April 1987
Box   2  
 January-August 1989
Box   2  
NETI: Forum  August 1984
Box   2  
NETI: Staff  August 1984
Box   2  
PC2:!Conf  June 1986-April 1987
Box   2  
RC: FoodSupply (Residential College)  January-March 1987
Box   2  
Religion  September-November 1987
Box   2  
RP.CONFER (Robert Parnes)  June-July 1975
Box   2  
Span: MS (MicroSpan)  March-July 1982
Box   2  
Span: Vision  April-May 1990
Box   3  
K556: OLDMAGNA  March 1977-March 1978
Box   3  
CRLT: CON.Ed  February-May 1979
Box   3  
CRLT: CONF  July 1975-July 1976 (2 folders)
Box   3  
CRLT: Conduit  February-April 1976
Box   3  
CRLT: Planning  September-March 1979
Box   3  
MICROS  February-May 1978
 
MNET: CAUCUS
Box   3  
 August-October 1978
Box   3  
 August 1978-January 1980 (2 folders)
Box   3  
RP CONFER  April-September 1975
 
STST:Con.CENSUS
Box   3  
 February-April 1976
Box   3  
 May 1976-June 1977
Box   3  
SPSS: Talk  June 1976-June 1977
Box   3  
Untitled  May 1975
Box   3  
Untitled, possibly Micros  May 1978-May 1980
Box   3  
Untitled  February-December 1979 (2 folders)
Box   4  
CRLT: Advisors  December 1982-October 1983 (2 folders)
Box   4  
CRLT: AUC  July-August 1984
Box   4  
CRLT: CBE (Computer Based Education)  October 1975-March 1976
 
CRLT: EdMicro
Box   4  
Volume I  August 1984-September 1985
Box   4  
Volume II  October 1985-January 1989
Box   4  
CRLT: Expos  September-December 1986
Box   4  
CRLT: HC  March-May 1988
Box   4  
CRLT: Hypercard  April 1988-November 1991
Box   4  
CRLT: Learning  September-November 1986
Box   4  
CRLT: LT  January-March 1986
Box   5  
CRLT: MAC.NOTES
Box   5  
 March-June 1984
Box   5  
 August 1984-September 1985 (2 folders)
Box   5  
 October 1985-March 1987 (3 folders)
Box   5  
 March 1987-November 1989 (3 folders)
Box   5  
CRLT: MERRA  November 1976
 
CRLT: MICROS
Box   5  
Volume III  June 1980-June 1981 (3 folders)
Box   5  
Volume IV  January-September 1983 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Volume V  September 1983-July 1984 (3 folders)
Box   5  
Volume VI  August 1984-June 1985 (3 folders)
Box   6  
Volume VII  July-March 1986 (10 folders)
Box   6  
Volume VIII  March 1986-June 1987 (6 folders)
Box   7  
Volume IX  July 1987-December 1989 (8 folders)
Box   7  
CRLT: Musiccomp  October-November 1986
Box   7  
CRLT: OldMicros  October 1981-December 1982 (2 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: Peace  January-April 1986
Box   8  
CRLT: Organizer  September 1978-April 1987 (3 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: RELIGION  January-April 1988 (2 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: Staff  July 1981-June 1983 (4 folders)
 
CRLT: TA
Box   8  
 April 1988-April 1989
Box   8  
 February-July 1991
Box   8  
CRLT: Teachers  April-June 1983
Box   8  
CRLT: QUEST  February 1986
Box   8  
CRLT: UBMAC  October 1985-September 1988
 
CRLT: USE.CONFER
Box   8  
 March 1986-February 1987
Box   8  
 February 1988-April 1990
Box   8  
CRLT: Use.CONFER1, December 1985-Feburary  1986
 
CRLT: WS351
Box   8  
 January-March 1987 (2 folders)
Box   8  
CRLT: WORDP, March 1  1979-June 1981 (2 folders)
Box   9  
Second International Congress on Technology Assessment, sponsored by International Society for Technology Assessment (ISTA) Conference  October 24-28, 1976

(oversized printout)

Box   9  
ISTA: AGRICULTURE  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: ASPECTS  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: DEVELOPMENT  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: EDUCATION  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: GLOSSARY  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: MICRO  February-March 1977
Box   9  
ISTA: PARADIGMS  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: PERSPECTIVES  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: PLANNING (background staff communications)  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: PROJECTS  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: SCHEDULE  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: SOLAR, October 1976-Feburary  1977
Box   9  
ISTA: STAFF  October 1976
Box   9  
ISTA: WRITINGS  October 1976
Box   10  
MEET: OURSELVES  May-December 1986 (3 folders)
Box   10  
MEET: PLANNERS  April 1985-December 1986 (3 folders)

(originally started as LBFM: SAMPLE)

 
MEET: STUDENTS
Box   10  
Volume I  September 1985 (index)
Box   10  
Volume II  September-November 1986 (3 folders)
 
MEET: UM
Box   10  
 August-November 1986 (2 folders)
Box   10  
 January-September 1988
Box   10  
MNET: CAUCUS, Volume IV  August 1980-June 1981
Box   10  
NOW: CONSIDER  March-September 1989
Box   10  
STAT: Con.Census, (background materials only)  circa 1976
Box   11  
UMED: MEDNET, (index only)  November 1987
Box   11  
User: UB  April-September 1985
 
USER: FORUM
Box   11  
Volume I, started  May 1979
Box   11  
Volume II  July 1980-September 1981 (3 folders)
Box   11  
Volume III  September 1982-June 1983 (2 folders)
Box   11  
Volume IV  September 1985-September 1988 (2 folders)
Box   11  
User: OldForum, Volume 3  September 1981-April 1992 (2 folders)
Box   11  
USER Planning  January 1980-March 1981 (2 folders)
 
University of Michigan Class Conferences  circa 1978-1992
Box   12  
1CVA: Wonderland  September-October 1987 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2062]
Box   12  
1GDB: CS181  September-December 1992 (2 folders)  [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2067]
Box   12  
1GHA: Writing  September-December 1986 (2 folders)  [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2061]
Box   12  
1JYA: 503  September-December 1986-1987 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2052]
Box   12  
1J3A: PEACE  September-October 1985 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2060]
Box   12  
2GDA: Comp74  January-April 1987 (2 folders)  [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2053]
Box   12  
2G2B: 181 CONFER  January-April 1992 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2067]
Box   12  
2KSB: 181 CONFER  January-April 1992 (2 folders)  [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2067]
Box   12  
2Q1A: Argue  February-April 1986 (2 folders)  [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2062]
Box   12  
BAD: IDEA  March-September 1986 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2061]
Box   12  
GULF: FORUM  March-May 1991 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2066]
Box   12  
K9JK: UTEPSEM  September-December 1986 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2051]
Box   12  
Linguistics and Computers  December 1986 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2061]
Box   12  
MAYA: PEACE  September-December 1985 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2061]
Box   12  
Professional Composer  circa 1987 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2062}
 
RC.Community
Box   12  
October -- November 1986 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2061]
Box   12  
 September-November 1988 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2063]
Box   12  
RC: WIN 86H445  January-May 1986 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2061]
Box   13  
5B2A:N830, School of Nursing  January-July 1979 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2054]
 
LAW 814
Box   13  
 September-December 1978 (2 folders)  [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2053]
Box   13  
 September-December 1979 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2054]
Box   13  
N630, School of Nursing  January-March 1976 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2051]
Box   13  
SSHD, School of Nursing  January-May 1976 [SR RESTRICTED until July 1 2051]