The NMC is pleased to announce its NGO partnership with the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) — an organization with a rich history of facilitating and promoting the writing, publishing, and reading of literature in electronic media. As part of this collaboration, the two organizations plan to host sessions at each other’s face-to-face events and raise visibility for one another, with the common goal of advancing the role of new media and emerging technology in learning. The NMC would like to give a special thank you to ELO member and NMC Board of Directors member Richard Holeton for his work in developing this important relationship.

About ELO
The Electronic Literature Organization is a 501 (c) 3 non profit organization founded in 1999 in Chicago, IL with a mission to “facilitate and promote the writing, publishing, and reading of literature in electronic media.” Its institutional home is located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where its grant and financial assistance is hosted, and at Washington State University Vancouver, where its President serves on faculty and oversees the ELO’s membership and archival endeavors. Directing the success of the organization is a board comprised of 20 scholars and artists selected from its membership. Though a U.S. organization, its international reputation has resulted in an expanded membership drawn also from all of North America, as well as Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. The organization has been active with hosting exhibits and readings of digital literary work at locations in the U.S. such as the Library of Congress, and The Kitchen (NYC), along with important venues outside of the country such as the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (Vancouver, B.C.), the Pompidou and Le Cube (Paris), and Arts Santa Monica (Barcelona, Spain), to name a few.

Founded when digital media was in its infancy and just four years after web browsers were introduced (making literary publications freely available to a reading public), the ELO was already thinking ahead to need to preserve this cultural output. Publications like its Acid-Free Bits (2004) and Born-Again Bits (2005) have provided standards that libraries and other institutions interested in preserving digital writing still refer to today. Its ELD is among the first efforts to document literary art created for the digital environment; its CELL Project is the first to pull together international research groups for the purpose of developing a search engine, database, and taxonomies for finding, cataloging, and documenting digital literary writing across the globe. Its connection to ELL at WSUV has resulted in the organization managing the literary archives from other organizations and for online journals and environments, such as Turbulence.org (U.S.) and the trAce Online Writing Centre (UK), as well as personal collections by electronic literature artists, such as M.D. Coverley. What makes the work that the ELO does absolutely imperative in this “Digital Information Age,” as scholar Paul Ceruzzi calls it, is its leadership in developing methods for evaluating quality of “digital” creative and critical works and its insights into cataloging and preserving the growing body of “digital” fiction, poetry, and other literary forms, for the ELO is the only scholarly body in North America dedicated solely to the investigation of literature produced for the digital medium.