Skip to main content

Academic computing collection

 Collection
Identifier: CBI 61
The Academic Computing Collection contains literature about hardware, software and systems that originated or were developed at specific academic institutions. Since many universities can be identified with certain developments in information processing, this collection provides some access to information about those projects. In some cases information relating to the academic computer facility itself is also included. Often projects were sponsored by the government, so the researcher should also refer to the U.S. Government Computing Collection (CBI 63) for information on joint projects. However, most of the material that has been identified primarily with a single university will be found in the Academic Computing Collection, regardless of government sponsorship.

Dates

  • circa 1950-1985

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Access to 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

40 boxes (35.75 cubic feet)

Overview

Contains literature about computer hardware, software, and systems that originated or were developed at specific academic institutions. Since many universities can be identified with certain developments in information processing, this collection provides some access to information about projects (such as Project MAC, and the ILLIAC, ORDVAC, and Whirlwind computers) and systems (such as ALOHA). Information about any one topic is not necessarily comprehensive, e.g. there may be only a few items relating to any one computer. In some cases the collection also includes information relating to the academic computing facility itself.

Historical Note

Computer research and development at academic research institutions in the United States intensified during World War II, prompted by the United States government's wartime need for rapid, complex mathematical calculations. The nation's research institutions continued computer research and development projects into the Cold War years, many still supported by the government and related to military applications. Universities are often identified with certain developments in information processing. For example, the first real-time text / graphic display was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Whirlwind computer; the Aloha protocol for radio packet switching was developed for the University of Hawaii's ALOHA system. Research institutions and the government agencies that sponsored them generated a wide variety of reports, manuals, and other documentation.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection is arranged alphabetically by university. The phrase "University of" has been entered under the next significant word in the title, i.e., the entry for "University of Minnesota" is between "Midwestern Universities Research Association" and "Mississippi Southern College".

Physical Location

This collection is stored off site and requires 3 days' notice for retrieval.

Acquisition:

The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute in several accessions by a number of individuals, institutions, and corporations.

Related Collections

U.S. Government Computing, CBI 63
Title
Academic Computing Collection, circa 1950-1985. Finding Aid.
Author
Prepared by Kevin D. Corbitt, February 1997; revised by Josh Knatterud-Hubinger and Carrie Seib, June 2003.
Date
1997, 2003
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Charles Babbage Institute Archives Repository

Contact:

612-624-5050