Peter Sachs Collopy


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

My research project “The Revolution Will Be Videotaped” is on the American experimental video of the late 1960s, when video recorders became portable and left the television studio for the art gallery, the psychiatric hospital, and the streets. The technology of recording moving images on magnetic tape, previously of use only to broadcasters, became a tool for artistic expression, psychological experimentation, and political revolution. My project is a network history of the experimental videographers who collaborated across those fields, sharing not only practical knowledge about the uses and maintenance of video equipment, but visions of its social significance, psychological effects, and utopian future. It is also a history of the resources videographers drew on, both material and intellectual, including the technology of electromagnetic recording, the practice of mediated self-observation, the metaphysics of collective consciousness, and the discourse of ethereality.

I also research how evolutionary theories have been invoked in religious and political debates.

As University Archivist at the Caltech Archives and Special Collections, I lead a team that facilitates understanding of Caltech’s role in the history of science and technology. In addition to research collections, we currently host the exhibit “The Mind’s Eye: Richard Feynman in Word and Image,” which I curated.

As a managing editor and web administrator of the History of Anthropology Newsletter, I foster an intellectual community of historians and anthropologists. I also serve on committees of the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, the Society of American Archivists Science, Technology and Health Care Section, and the ARKs in the Open Project.

Twitter @collopy
Medium @collopy
ORCID 0000-0002-0979-6549
Google Scholar dq5HS28AAAAJ
Phone +1 626-395-2702
Zoom 331-641-2194
Skype petercollopy
Mail 1200 E. California Blvd.
MC B215-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Society of California Archivists
Long Beach, April 24–27
Digital Humanities Best Practices*
USC, April 25–26
Looking Back as We Move Forward
Caltech, April 26–27