Peter Sachs Collopy


I’m a historian, archivist, and curator of American science, technology, and media.

My research project “The Revolution Will Be Videotaped” explores how artists, psychotherapists, political organizers, and “video freaks” used videotape recording—and discourses of feedback and panpsychism which accompanied it—to experiment with mind and society in the 1960s and 1970s. I have published on theories of self-observation, video synthesizers, electronic photography, and Catholicism in video art.

In the history of biology and the human sciences, I have written about race concepts in physical anthropology, theistic evolutionism, and the quantification of sex. I maintain a bibliography of the history of cybernetics.

I am University Archivist and department head at the Caltech Archives and Special Collections. In that role, I lead a team that facilitates understanding of Caltech’s role in the history of science and technology by curating research collections and public exhibitions, currently including Becoming Caltech: Building a Research Community, 1910–1930 and Gone But Not Forgotten. I am the principal investigator of the Pacific Standard Time 2024 research and exhibition project “Virtual Witnessing: Seeing Caltech Science,” and co-organize the event series “Critical Intersections: Conversations on History, Race, and Science.”

As a managing editor and web administrator of the History of Anthropology Review, I foster an intellectual community of historians and anthropologists. I also serve on committees of the Society for the History of Technology; Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine; Society of American Archivists Science, Technology and Health Care Section; ARK Alliance; and Oberlin College OSCAlums.

From 2015 to 2017, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California, where I also taught the courses America in the Cold War World and The Evolution Debates. Before that, I studied and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Oberlin College, was an organizer and board member of Mariposa Food Co-op and the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, and worked as a web developer and science museum educator.

Twitter @collopy
Medium @collopy
ORCID 0000-0002-0979-6549
Google Scholar dq5HS28AAAAJ
Phone +1 626-395-2702
Mail 1200 E. California Blvd.
MC B215-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Rare Book School
University of Virginia, July 24–29
HSS Turns 50
Penn, October 7–9
Centering Race and Disability in Histories of Eugenics*
Huntington Library, October 14–15