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Conference on Data Systems Languages records

Identifier: CBI 11

Scope and Content Note

Records in the collection include minutes, reports, correspondence, and, often, the Journal of Development relevant to the work of that specific committee. Most of the collection consists of photocopies. Publications related to the work of CODASYL are included, particularly those relating to COBOL as well as relevant standards publications.

In some cases, there are chronological overlaps as the records from different sources were processed at different times and contain variant material.


  • Creation: 1959-1987


Language of Materials


Access to materials:

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).

Historical Note

Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL) was a volunteer organization to promote more effective data systems analysis, design, and implementation. Its membership consisted of individuals from industry and government involved in data processing activity. The organization was formed in 1959 to guide the development of a standard programming language that could be used on many computers. This effort led to the development of COBOL.


26 boxes (24.5 cubic feet)


Collection contains minutes, correspondence, reports, documentation for Nice Standard Control Language (NICOLA), the Journal of Development, and other publications from several CODASYL committees and task groups. Most of the collection consists of photocopies.

Arrangement of Collection

The materials in this collection are arranged chronologically into the following groups:

  1. Common business oriented language (COBOL) committee, 1959-1988
  2. Common operating system command language committee, 1971-1981
  3. Data base task group, 1969-1971
  4. Data description language committee, 1972-1985
  5. End user facility task group, 1974
  6. End user function committee, 1974-1983
  7. Executive committee, 1959-1988
  8. File processing task group, 1974-1980
  9. Forms Interface Management Systems Committee, 1988-1990
  10. Fortran-Data base processing facility committee, 1974-1980
  11. Intermediate Range task force, 1959
  12. Intermediate Range task force II, 1959
  13. Nice standard control language (NICOLA), 1979
  14. Object-Oriented COBOL task group, 1990
  15. Planning committee, 1972-1973
  16. Programming language committee, 1965-1987
  17. Screen management committee, 1985
  18. Screen management task group, 1979-1985
  19. Storage structure task group, 1974
  20. Stored data definition and translation task group, 1974
  21. Systems committee, 1972-1982
  22. Systems group, 1962
  23. Technical committee, 1975

With the exception of NICOLA, each group represents a specific committee or task group of CODASYL.


The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute in 1986-1987 by Jan Prokop, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Thomas Harris, in 1991 by Thomas E. Rice, and in 1996 by Charles W. Bachman.

Conference on Data Systems Languages Records, 1959-1987. Finding Aid.
Prepared by Bruemmer, Hanson, and Corbitt, January 1997.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

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