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Advertisement: Goodwill takes a greener look at technology relics

Thao Votang
The Goodwill museum features a section just for Apple computers.

Goodwill Industries of Central Texas' mission is to generate lifelong connections to work. Along this line, Goodwill employees have stored an immense collection of computer technology, documentation, and selected ephemera.

In the early 1990s, Goodwill Industries staff began collecting objects that employees saw as historically or culturally significant.

These objects now are gathered in the Goodwill Computer Museum at the Goodwill Community Center at 1015 Norwood Park Blvd.

The museum documents the evolution of the computer and the evolving role of the computer in daily life.

The museum also stresses the importance of recycling end-of-life electronics.

The museum takes donations of personal computers, which are assessed for possible inclusion in the museum. If the computer is already represented or is not working, it's returned or transferred to the donation stream for recycle, reuse or resale.

The museum is beginning an inventory of the collection that will become available to the public online.

Additional projects include restoring computers to working order and allowing other organizations to use the equipment to provide access to and preserve obsolete media.

During Austin Museum Day, the Goodwill Computer Museum will show "Digital Discourse: A Short History of the Information Age." Guided tours of Goodwill's electronic recycling program also will be offered.

Group tours can be scheduled at 637-7539 or museum@austingoodwill.org.

Anyone interested in helping with the inventory database or repairing computers can send an email to museum@austingoodwill.org.