Duplicating Facilities


During my (Skoug) first years at Nebraska, our students wrote most of their examinations in blue books. The usual procedure was that each student was supposed to bring their instructor 5 or 6 blue books at the beginning of the semester which we would then distribute on exam days. For example in Calculus 114 (now Calculus 106) we would each end up collecting about 700 blue books. I would avoid some of the book-keeping task by not recording who had actually turned in blue books and simply buying extra ones if needed. It definitely took longer to grade the exams written in blue books than on our current exams since the solutions often didn't occur in the order the problems were given. On the other hand, I don't recall ever giving quizzes between the hour exams; mainly I suppose since most of the students came to every class scheduled. In contrast, this semester I'm giving 11 quizzes in Math 104 and 18 quizzes in Statistics 180 in order to encourage class attendance.

Research Papers.

Even during the 1960s and early 1970s, duplicating facilities were very sparse and primitive to say the least (except for material typed or written on a ditto master). For example, when Jerry Johnson and myself (Skoug) were working on a research paper, we would have only one copy between the two of us. For example, Jerry may have written up the introduction, myself chapter one, etc. Today of course, we would each have multiple (one for at home, one for the office, one for Kuhl's, etc.) copies of every version in the development of the paper. (The preparation of this history being a good example) Once a paper was in its final form, a secretary would type the manuscript using carbon paper; one mistake on a page and the entire page would need to be retyped and proofread again. Accuracy was the major requirement for a technical typist. After the paper was typed, it was nearly impossible to make any changes. For example, in order to add a sentence to say the proof of Theorem 3, one would try to find a sentence nearby to delete, so that only 1 or 2 pages would need to be redone. Even adding another reference was a major undertaking. Also, making minor changes as suggested by a referee was often quite a bit of work; but at least out technical typist had the joy of bringing the project to closure.

Current Facilities.

Today, most but not all faculty members type their own papers. In addition, our current "duplicating facilities" are extremely convenient and of very high quality. One result is that we now consume vast quantities of paper; when in doubt, make a copy.