January 4, 2011

Carl Machover Papers Available

Happy New Year! I am extremely pleased to announce the availability of the Carl Machover Papers, donated in 2008 by Carl and Wilma Machover and processed this past year by CBI archives staff. Machover, a pioneer in the area of computer graphics, was extremely influential in the field, and his papers are a rich resource of information for researchers interested in ACM's SIGGRAPH, CAD/CAM, virtual reality, and other subfields of computer graphics. The bulk of the papers consist of Machover's job files with Machover Associates but also include data sheets, correspondence, research and subject files, and audiovisual materials documenting Machover's life and career.

For further information about Carl Machover, please see his oral history interview. To use the collection, feel free to email me.

October 25, 2010

New Collections Available

The following two collections are now processed and available for research:

Donated by Lockheed Martin's VIP Club of retirees, the Sperry Research Center Engineering Log Books document the day-to-day research operations of the center.

The David S. Wise Papers add to our growing collection of ACM-related materials and explore Wise's participation in ACM leadership (particularly SIGPLAN).

July 28, 2010

Finding Aids

Please go to for the finding aid to the Michael S. Mahoney Papers. Mahoney was an influential scholar in the history of technology and mathematics, and his papers provide a window into his scholarship.

Additionally, some materials have been added to the Diebold Group Client Reports. Please see the finding aid here!

June 2, 2010

New and Updated Finding Aids

The Kenneth R. Geiser Papers are now available for research. Geiser was an engineer in the General Electric Computer Department, and his papers include reports, memoranda, reprints, publications, correspondence, and photographs documenting his work with GE.

Finding aids have also been updated, with new materials added, for the following collections:

April 13, 2010

New Finding Aids

New collections are open for research! They include the following:

Paul E. Ceruzzi Collection on Konrad Zuse (CBI 219)
College and University Systems Exchange Records (CBI 10)
Peter Freeman Collection (CBI 27)
Thomas S. Grier Collection of CUBE Photographs (CBI 74)
Gary Mokotoff Collection of IBM 1401 Program Listings (CBI 93)
Richard Rimbach Collection on Automation (CBI 89)

As always, collections are open to the public. To use the materials, just email or call.

November 16, 2009

More New Finding Aids

The project to create collection-level finding aids for our entire collection is continuing. Here are three more that were just added to the web:

Barry James Mailloux Collection on ALGOL 68
David Cavanagh Collection on Computer Security
James P. Cordes Collection of Sperry Univac Photographs and Publications

October 6, 2009

New Finding Aids

I'm trying a new experiment by creating quick, collection-level finding aids for our unprocessed collections so that you have at least a minimal level of access to as many of our collections as possible (eventually, to all of them). Here are links to the first batch - please let me know if you think it's a worthwhile thing to do, or if you'd prefer to remain unaware of those that are unprocessed but have more detailed finding aids for those that are. (Note: some of these have minimal-level box lists, while some have no lists at all.)

Boole & Babbage Users Group Conference Proceedings, 1972-1975 (CBI 137)
Total Information for Educational Systems Records, 1966-1978 (CBI 138)
Charles W. Bradley Collection on the ENIAC Trial, 1930-1966 (CBI 140)
Earl Masterson Papers (CBI 143)
Center for Y2K and Society Records (CBI 155)
Computer Associates International Records, 1982-2001 (CBI 156)
Gordon B. Davis Collection of Photographs, 1966-1976 (CBI 214)
Keith W. Uncapher Papers (CBI 87)
Arthur L. Norberg and William Aspray DARPA Project Research Files, 1960-1989 (CBI 136)

July 13, 2009

New Finding Aids

We've got some new collections available!

Two new collections of personal papers donated in the past year:
Carl A. Johnson Papers (CBI 208)
Warren G. Simmons Papers (CBI 204)

As well as our collection of reference files:
Charles Babbage Institute Reference Files (CBI 24). These are photographs and documentation that have been collected through the years on all imaginable topics in the history of computing. They are now searchable through our finding aid database. Note: Be sure to search for people's names as Lastname, Firstname (or, alternately, just the last name) or you may not find the individual you are looking for.

May 5, 2009

New and Updated Finding Aids

Spring is finally here in Minnesota, and that means finding aid updates! A new finding aid is available for the Arnold A. Cohen Papers, CBI 105. An additional accrual has also been added to CBI 103, the Bryan S. Kocher Papers. Enjoy! Please email me if you would like to use either of these collections for research.

January 30, 2009

Calvin Mooers finding aid

I am pleased to announce that the most recent addition to the papers of Calvin Mooers has been processed and a description added to the finding aid. It is organized into series by accession (each individual addition to the collection), so the recently added portions are down at the bottom.

December 2, 2008

New Finding Aid - CDC PLATO

I am happy to announce that we have a new collection available for research. It's a series in the records of the Control Data Corporation, on their Computer-Based Education program known as PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations). The finding aid is located here. I hope that you will find it useful!

October 20, 2008

New Finding Aid

We have a new collection available: CBI 202, the R. M. Warner Laboratory Notebooks. The finding aid is available here!

August 20, 2008

SIGPLAN Notices Available

I am pleased to report that a large chunk of ACM's SIGPLAN Notices publication is now cataloged and available for research here at CBI. SIGPLAN Notices is the monthly publication of ACM's special interest group on programming languages. It should complement well the ACM Records that we'll be receiving and processing this fall.

We have some other ACM publications going through cataloging right now, and I will keep you updated on their further availability.

June 12, 2008

New Collections

This month, we've received via donation two exciting accruals to a couple important collections. We now have an additional five boxes of ADAPSO documentation (the current finding aid is located here). We also recently received 15 boxes of Data Processing Management Association records to go along with the current collection. Though the accruals aren't processed yet, they're open for research if anyone has an interest.

May 15, 2008

Y2K Exhibit

I've put up a new small exhibit in the space outside the CBI Suite. It's a display of publications and documents from CBI's two collections related to the Y2K phenomenon: the International Y2K Cooperation Center Records and the Center for Y2K and Society Records (currently in process, but still available to researchers - it just doesn't yet have a public finding aid). If you are in Andersen Library, come take a look.

February 8, 2008


The finding aid for the Walter L. Anderson Papers is now complete and available for researcher use. The materials have been "in process" for quite some time, so we are all excited to finally make them available.

The finding aid can be viewed at:

The Anderson collection spans his extensive professional career in four organizations as well as his membership and leadership positions in IRE-IEEE. Walter's early career began with Engineering Research Associates in the Arlington, VA, facility. Upon that divisions closing, Anderson and some of his coworkers began their own magnetic tape and mechanical device manufacturing firm known as General Kinetics Incorporated. After leaving GKI in the mid 1970s, Walter began working for the United States General Accounting Office, focused in the field of information management, technology, and automatic data processing.

From a personal standpoint, the materials contained within Mr. Anderson's GAO records are a unique look into the area of government internal controls and system auditing. In the public sector during the 1970s, technology audits and system controls were largely dominated by the expertise of one public accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, due in large part to their early relationship with IBM. Government systems audits and controls also operated in a complex environment with more strict guidelines for government auditors and direct accountability to the Comptroller General. The materials cataloged by Walter during his time with the GAO are an invaluable resource for understanding the complex environment of technology audits and system controls both in the public and government sectors.


December 21, 2007

Finding Aid Update

We've updated our finding aid for CBI 32, the National Bureau of Standards Computer Literature Collection. Also, we have added a new finding aid to our web site: the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Conference Papers, CBI 196.

Enjoy the holiday break! The blog will likely not be updated regularly until the New Year.

November 16, 2007

New Finding Aid

Sorry about the lack of entries yesterday; the blog publishing platform was having technical difficulties all day. Now that it's back online, though, I promise to make amends with an abundance of interesting posts. First up, we have a new finding aid available online:

CBI 196, International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Conference Papers. Please feel free to take a look.

November 6, 2007

New Finding Aids

Two new finding aids are now available on CBI's web site:

The Charles Hall Collection on the SNOBOL Programming Language (CBI 190) contains information on the development of SNOBOL, a computer programming language.

The Borge M. Christensen Collection on General Electric (GE) Computing (CBI 191) details Christensen's career with the General Electric Company computer and information service business.

October 29, 2007

Related Resources

On CBI's web site, we maintain a list of related resources that might be useful to individuals doing research in the history of computing. These include archival collections at other institutions such as the Library of Congress or Stanford University, but they also include web sites and databases. Some of the databases state "Available to U of M faculty, staff, and students only." If you are at a different institution, and the resource sounds interesting to you, check your college or university's library web site. There's a good chance that your library will subscribe to the database as well. If you're not sure, ask a librarian!

October 24, 2007

Digital Hand

We are excited to have received a copy of the recently published third volume of The Digital Hand, Jim Cortada's survey of the effect of computers on industry in America. The entire work is now available here for research. Along with the volumes, Cortada has generously donated to CBI his research materials for The Digital Hand as well as some other documents. We are working on processing this collection, and it should be available for research soon. Keep watching this blog for updates!

October 19, 2007

Burroughs Photographs

Archival research doesn't always have to be about coming into the library to look through documents. As both an archivist and a history major, I really like old papers, but you might not all feel the same way that I do. In recognition of this fact, a lot of archives are digitizing important collections and making them available on the Web (I've talked about this in previous posts).

CBI's current contribution to this phenomenon is our database of Burroughs Corporation photographs. The Burroughs Corporation was a major manufacturer of adding machines and then a major computer company. Along with the Control Data Corporation Records, the Burroughs Corporation Records are one of our largest and most used collections. Feel free to look through the photos that are available online - it's a great way of doing historical research without having to leave your desk.

We are working on a couple more digitized collections as well, and we'll let you know as they become available.

October 17, 2007

The Students of CBI Sound Off

Hello. I'm Jessica H, a student worker here at CBI. I've been processing a new collection that I thought I'd mention, in case it's of interest. As a humanities student, the subject matter with which I work at CBI is often far removed from my normal sphere of study, so imagine my delight when my latest project focused on a computer programming language created to be used by other English majors like myself. The Charles Hall Papers trace the development and use of SNOBOL, a text-string oriented language widely used in the 80s and early 90s. It's been a fascinating read and once the EAD is finalized and online, I hope you enjoy perusing this collection as much as I have enjoyed working on it.

October 15, 2007

Digitization of Oral Histories

We have some exciting news - CBI has just received an internal grant to digitize and make available on our web site 50 of our oral histories. Oral history transcripts are already available here, but once the 50 that we choose have been digitized by the Libraries' digital collections unit, you will be able to listen to the oral histories on our web site.

We would love to hear your suggestions for ones that you think would be valuable for this project, and we will do what we can to include them. Please comment below!

Minnesota Digital Library

If you are interested in Minnesota history, check out the Minnesota Digital Library. This resource digitizes and provides free online access to historical photographs and documents that were supplied by libraries, archives, and museums from all around the state.

October 11, 2007

Finding Books and Serials at CBI

In addition to the corporate records and personal papers at CBI, we also have extensive print materials. Some books and serials can be found in the finding aids database, because individual books and serials sometimes come to us as part of a collection and recently we have accepted some donated collections consisting entirely of books and serials. Donated collections will be cataloged but in order to speed up access for you we are creating finding aids. Other print materials that are not described in finding aids can be found in MNCat, the library catalog for the University of Minnesota. So when searching for materials at CBI be sure to look in both the finding aids database and in MNCat.

October 10, 2007

New Finding Aids Available

I am happy to report that we've just added five new finding aids to our web site. Following is a brief description of each collection.

The Gordon Everest Collection of Monographs on Database Development contains books on various database management topics.

The Sperry and Unisys Reference Manuals are a collection of programming and operating reference manuals for computing systems.

The Walter A. Kleinschrod Collection of Word Processing Monographs and Serials includes books and journals on the development of word processing technologies.

The Donald G. Aronson Papers contain documentation on the development of the Manchester Computer.

Finally, the Robert M. Price Papers are a collection of documents that contain information on the recent administration of the Control Data Corporation and the National Center for Social Entrepreneurs.

We hope that these collections will be useful to you in your research!

October 8, 2007

Control Data Corporation 50th Anniversary

The Control Data Corporation, a computer manufacturing company established in 1957, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. Former CDC employees were here at CBI last month doing research in their company records, which CBI holds. The research that they did will be used in an exhibit and a slideshow for the anniversary celebration.

The CDC Records are one of the largest and most heavily used collections that we have. The records document many aspects of the history of the U.S. computer manufacturing industry from the 1950s through the 1990s. The collection includes a large number of photographs, a database of which will be online and available for use through the CBI web site by next summer.