How Much Does Your Archive Weigh?


I remember, in 1978, showing [Fuller] our Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts and being startled when he asked: “How much does your building weigh?” The question was far from rhetorical. He was challenging us to discover how efficient it was; to identify how many tones of material enclosed what volume.
– Lord Norman Foster, Buckminster Fuller / Anthology for the New Millennium (Thomas T. K. Zung, ed.)

The Synchronofile is now the largest private collection of Buckminster Fuller literature.

In March 2013, Joe Moore of the Buckminster Fuller Virtual Institute donated his collection of Fuller papers to the synchronofile. Combined with the papers already owned by Trevor Blake, the synchronofile is now measured in tons of literature by and about R. Buckminster Fuller. An archive is rightly measured for its content as much as its volume, but access to this amount of material is significant.

As I wrote in my 2008 Buckminster Fuller Biblography: “The pioneering work of Joe Moore and the Buckminster Fuller Virtual Institute were my first guide to what Fuller on the internet might look like. Joe’s work is the standard I have attempted to best, it includes a superabundance of information not found here and I will always be in admiration of it.” I first saw Joe’s work on usenet at bit.listserv.geodesic, before the popularity of the Web. Joe has always been first to answer a question on Fuller, first to publish information electronically, first to encourage further original research. My Biblography was already twice the size of the nearest equivalent. In the months and years to follow, Joe’s archive will be incorporated into my own and the Biblography will expand.

The synchronofile is available for viewing by appointment.