Hidden Treasures From Mailing Lists

By Judith Maginnis Kuster

Mailing lists (sometimes referred to as "listservs" because many lists are hosted on computer programs called listservs) can be valuable resources on professional topics. But many don't realize the archives of past discussion may also be available, and keyword searchable. These archives can contain treasures worth searching for, which won't be uncovered using a search engine like Google.

Last summer, an important "voice" in the stuttering community was silenced when Marty Jezer passed away. Marty, who had a severe stutter, was one of the most reasoned voices in the stuttering community. I am delighted that I have an autographed copy of his book, Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words, and several of his writings on the Stuttering Home Page (www.stutteringhomepage.com). But there are additional words from Marty that are preserved on the Internet in the archives of mailing lists dedicated to stuttering, especially stutt-l (https://listserv.temple.edu/archives/stutt-l.html) and stutt-x (http://lists.asu.edu/archives/stutt-x.html). As long as the archives are available, Marty's words will be available to those who know how to find them.

Many listserv archives are only available to members, but joining these groups is not difficult--see Kuster's List of Lists, www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster2/discussion/discussion.html, to discover some discussion forums relevant to speech-language pathology and audiology, and information on how to subscribe. www.jiscmail.ac.uk/archives/index.html including:

Messages are also archived on many Yahoo groups mailing lists. There is a "search feature" to help you find appropriate mailing lists as well as another search feature for individual lists to help find specific topics that have been discussed. Additional important features to explore are the files, links, and databases that list members have loaded on several groups' home pages. Most are accessible only to members, but joining is usually not difficult ("usually" because some of the yahoogroups are restrictive). A few Yahoo mailing lists along with sample materials found in their "files" are provided below.

Judith Kuster is in the department of speech, hearing, and rehabilitation services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at judith.kuster@mnsu.edu. All of Kuster's Internet columns are on ASHA's Web site in HTML format with active links (www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/archives/news.htm), although URLs change and there is no guarantee that links from previous articles are still functional.

Kuster, JM, Hidden Treasures from Mailing Lists, ASHA Leader, May 2, 2006, p. 36.