Academic computing collection
Scope and Content Note
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.
- circa 1950-1985
- Charles Babbage Institute (Organization)
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).
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.
40 boxes (35.75 cubic feet)
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.
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".
This collection is stored off site and requires 3 days' notice for retrieval.
The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute in several accessions by a number of individuals, institutions, and corporations.
- Aloha system (Electronic computer system) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Carnegie-Mellon University.
- Case Institution of Technology -- Systems Research Center.
- Case Institution of Technology.
- Computation laboratories -- United States -- History -- Sources Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Computers -- United States -- History -- Sources. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory
- Cornell University
- Harvard University -- Computation Laboratory.
- Illiac computer. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Illinois Institute of Technology.
- Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Digital Computing Laboratory.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Medical sciences -- Computer programs. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Moore School of Electrical Engineering.
- New York University
- Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)
- Ohio State University.
- Ordvac computer. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Pennsylvania State University.
- Project MAC (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
- Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
- Stanford Research Institute.
- Stanford University -- Applied Mathematics and Statistics laboratory.
- Stanford University -- Computer Science Dept.
- Stanford University.
- State University of New York.
- University of California, Berkeley.
- University of California, Los Angeles -- Dept. of Engineering.
- University of California, Los Angeles -- Health Sciences Computing Facility.
- University of California, Los Angeles.
- University of Hawaii (Honolulu)
- University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus). Digital Computer Laboratory
- University of Michigan
- University of Minnesota
- University of Pennsylvania.
- University of Utah -- Computer Science Division.
- Wayne State University.
- Whirlwind computer. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Academic Computing Collection, circa 1950-1985. Finding Aid.
- Prepared by Kevin D. Corbitt, February 1997; revised by Josh Knatterud-Hubinger and Carrie Seib, June 2003.
- 1997, 2003
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note