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Control Data Corporation Records

Identifier: CBI 80

Scope and Contents

The Control Data Corporation Records documents the company's operations, goals, plans, and products from its inception in 1957 to 1992, and includes information about CDC's corporate philosophy and long-time president and CEO (1957-1986), William C. Norris.

Researchers should note that when CDC donated its corporate archives to the University of Minnesota in 1991, attorneys withheld several files for further review. These remain gaps in the collection. The collection is also lacking in its documentation from the last five to ten years of the company's operation.


  • Creation: 1946-1991


Language of Materials

English .

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is unrestricted.


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).

Biographical / Historical

The Control Data Corporation was incorporated in Minnesota on 8 July 1957 to produce high-speed, scientific computers. The company was headed by William C. Norris, who had been central to the success of Engineering Research Associates, Inc., a St. Paul electronics firm that was responsible for producing Minnesota's first digital computer. Control Data grew to become one of the top ten computer manufacturers in the world; it produced among the fastest computers of their day, including the CDC 6600, designed by Seymour Cray and generally considered the first supercomputer. The company became known for its agressive acquisition of other firms, culminating in the purchase of Commercial Credit Corporation in 1967. The company continued its growth until the 1980s when a number of factors began deteriorate Control Data's position in the industry. In 1986, William Norris resigned as CEO. By 1992 the company had split into two firms: Ceridian Corporation and Control Data Systems, Inc.


358 Linear Feet (358 boxes)


The Control Data Corporation Records documents the company's operations, goals, plans, and products from its inception in 1957 to 1992.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of the records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by the Ceridian Corporation in 1991.

Processing Information

This collection was reprocessed and condensed by Jemma Kloss in summer 2023.

Control Data Corporation Records, 1946-1991. Finding Aid. CBI 80
Originally prepared by Archival Staff of the Charles Babbage Institute, 1991-1992, 2003-2006. Edited by Jemma Kloss, August 2023.
August 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455