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Burroughs Corporation records. System Development Corporation records.

 Collection
Identifier: CBI 90, Series 98
This collection contains the records of the System Development Corporation (SDC). Although SDC was acquired by Burroughs in 1980, the records date from the late 1940's when SDC was first the System Development Division of the RAND Corporation.

The collection is divided into ten series. The first group of material, Histories, includes information about the RAND Corporation, the System Development Division, and the System Development Corporation.
Scope and Contents This is one series of the Burroughs Corporation Records (CBI 90). Please see the other series finding aids for further information regarding the Burroughs Corporation.

Dates

  • 1946-1982

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Use of Materials:

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Copyright:

The Charles Babbage Institute holds the copyright to all materials in the collection, except for items covered by a prior copyright (such as published materials). Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Extent

23 boxes (23 cubic feet)

Overview

Collection contains the records of the System Development Corporation, including a history file with information about the RAND Corporation, the System Development Division, and the System Development Corporation. It also contains correspondence, meetings and minutes, symposiums and presentations, product literature, technical literature, reports on systems engineering, systems design, human-computer interaction, and user interfaces, and a subject file.

Historical Note

System Development Corporation evolved out of the Systems Development Division of the RAND Corporation. The RAND Corporation was a non-profit group incorporated in 1948 by technical engineers and military people who worked together during World War II. The System Development Division was established in 1955 to prepare SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) system training programs. They also studied human and machine interactions, and how systems of people and machines worked together.

The Division was spun off in 1957, and became the non-profit company named SDC, or System Development Corporation. Its original purpose was "to work in the public interest on research, development, and application of information technology and the system sciences associated with computers." It essentially worked on the same types of problems as it did as a Division of RAND. It's main customer was the U.S. military, although it was sometimes a consultant of large, private businesses.

SDC became a for-profit operation in 1968, although it had normalized relations with the Air Force in 1966. This meant it would compete for Air Force business as any other private company would. Other companies already in this market complained that SDC had an unfair advantage, in that it was originally a government sponsored and supported company, and had extensive experience with U.S. military contracts.

SDC was acquired by Burroughs Corporation in 1980. Burroughs was interested in SDC's experience in systems engineering capability. Burroughs and SDC had worked together early in the SAGE program. In 1985, SDC had booked government contracts totaling more than $650 million with the Defense Department, NASA and other government agencies.

Arrangement of Collection

The materials in this collection are arranged into the following groups:
  1. Histories
  2. Corporate Plan and Organization
  3. Meetings and Conferences
  4. Symposiums and Presentations
  5. Correspondence
  6. Publications
  7. Product Literature
  8. Technical Literature
  9. Reports
  10. Subject Files

Acquisition:

The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by Unisys Corporation in 1991, accession 991-35.

Related Material

This is one series of the Burroughs Corporation Records (CBI 90). Please see the other series finding aids for further information regarding the Burroughs Corporation.

Title
Burroughs Corporation Records. System Development Corporation Records. Finding Aid.
Author
Prepared by Susan A. Stepka and Caroline Gasser, February 1997.
Date
February 1997
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Charles Babbage Institute Archives Repository

Contact:

612-624-5050