Simulating domestic space in 1990s technoculture: Timothy Leary's virtual home library

Publication Date


Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Reading Home Cultures Through Books


Kirsti Salmi-Niklander, Marija Dalbello




This essay examines the negotiation of boundaries between print and digital media, as well as between domestic and public space. Using a case study drawn from early web-based home publishing, I argue that the 1990s witnessed a continuation of changes in the contours of knowledge work that were already firmly in place during the mid-twentieth century, which themselves had precedents in earlier eras as well. The case study is drawn from the life and work of Dr. Timothy Leary, an American psychologist and counterculture celebrity. By analyzing print and digital records of Leary’s efforts at digitizing his personal archives, I show that he exemplified processes of breakdown between the home and the office, while also promoting a series of hybrid print/digital projects. In conclusion, I argue that this case study shows the continued relevance of print in the late twentieth century, despite the concurrent explosion in digital technologies.