The Science, Technology & Patents Department is participating in the Central Library Reopening 25th Anniversary celebration with a display of Science Department materials published in 1993. In fact, the differences that 25 years have made are more obviously reflected in the collections of the Science, Technology & Patents Department than in those of most other departments here at Central Library. We wanted to highlight a few of the many differences between then and now, which unavoidably reflects 25 years of progress in many aspects of life in the United States.
These differences are reflected in the cassette and videotape items that are included, formats which were very much in use in 1993, but are no longer purchased today and do not see much circulation anymore. Substantive differences in life then and now are captured in a photographic journal of Americans dealing with the ravages of the AIDS/HIV crisis, which was then without any sort of treatment. Two books on science and ecological crises in the Soviet Union and the former Warsaw Pact countries remind us of the decades-long division of Europe, which had only just been overcome as of 1993. The cover of a 1993 edition of the Road & Track Road Test Annual features a photo of a sleek, red 1993 Eagle Vision TSi from Chrysler, a model that was only offered in the mid-1990s. Two guides to Windows NT and Macintosh System 7 (OS 7) remind us of the developments in personal computers, and indeed the move from desktop machines to laptops and mobile computing. Finally, the hairstyles and fashion statements of fitness coach Joyce Vedral and Kathie Lee Gifford give a sense of women's beauty and fashion in 1993. In most if not all of these areas it is easy to speak of 25 years' progress in science, medicine and technology, and even hairstyles!
Of course, the Science, Technology & Patents Department and the Los Angeles Public Library offer many materials on these and many more subjects published in 2018, and even 2019 now! Beyond new physical formats such as DVDs and CDs that are more convenient and sturdy, but which are now also going out of use, the library offers streaming and downloadable e-media and a vast selection of databases covering many subjects including science and tech. The first Internet Archive capture for the LAPL website is for December 11,1997, and it gives another sense for contemporary technology and a tremendous contrast to the many web-based offerings today.