March 7, 2011

The IEEE Life Members' Prize

The IEEE Life Members' Prize in Electrical History, supported by the
IEEE Life Members' Fund and administered by the Society for the
History of Technology, is awarded annually to the best paper in the
history of electrotechnology--power, electronics, telecommunications,
and computer science--published during the preceding year. Any article
published in a learned periodical is eligible if it treats the art or
engineering aspects of electrotechnology and its practitioners. The
article must be written in English, although the journal or periodical
in which it appears may be a foreign language publication. The prize
consists of a cash award of $500 and a certificate. To nominate an
article, please send a copy of the paper to each member of the prize
committee. Deadline is April 15.

For more information, please contact the committee chair or Bernie
Carlson, SHOT Secretary, 434.975.2190,

2011 IEEE Life Members' Prize Committee

Eden Medina, chair
School of Informatics and Computing
Indiana University
901 E. 10th Street, Room 305
Bloomington, IN 47408

Ross Bassett
History Dept.
North Carolina State University
350 Withers Hall
Campus Box 8108
Raleigh, NC 27695-8108

Mats Fridlund
Associate Professor/ Universitetslektor
Dept of Philosophy, Linguistics & Theory of Science
University of Gothenburg
Box 200, Olof Wijksgatan 6, Room T328
SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

September 9, 2010

Gopher video

Here's a link to a video on Internet Gopher for the University of Minnesota's "Driven to Discover" series. Gopher was created at the U of M. The video stars our very own Tom Misa, as well as Gopher founders Mark McCahill and Farhad Anklesaria, and includes some documents from our collections.

August 4, 2010

Dijkstra interview

From CBI Director Tom Misa:

CBI's interview with programming pioneer Edsger Dijkstra is published in the August issue of the Communications of the ACM. The colorful interview is the last one Dijkstra gave before his death in 2002. He gives an insider's view on becoming a programmer, the invention of his "shortest path" algorithm, delightful gossipy stories about Peter Naur, Tony Hoare, Gerritt Blaauw, Alan Perlis, and others as well as differences between Dutch and American computing culture.

The interview, one of the top-downloaded articles in CACM, is available at:

May 11, 2010

Robert Price Speeches

CBI is pleased to make publicly available an exciting new resource - a unique set of 450 speeches given by Robert Price, former CEO of Control Data Corporation, including presentations to the CDC Board of Directors, financial analysts, professional groups, civic organizations, university audiences, and CDC employees. The speeches may be free-text searched or examined in thematic and chronological order.

Take a look and let us know how it works for you!

January 27, 2010

Local Computer History at Walter Library

Local readers, stop by the second floor of Walter Library on the East Bank of the U of M campus any time to see an exhibit on local computer history installed by Lockheed Martin's Legacy Committee. The exhibit includes the recent article published by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press that I previously blogged about.

November 16, 2009

New Newsletter/RSS

Our Fall 2009 newsletter is now available on our website. We have also added RSS capability to the newsletter: if you use an RSS reader, you can click on the XML link at the bottom of the page, and when we have a new newsletter you will see the articles appear in your feed reader. Please let me know if you have any questions!

October 29, 2009

Birth of the Internet

A quick interview from CNN on what is possibly the first message transmitted via the Internet, forty years ago on October 29, 1969 (thanks to Minnesota HST student Jonathan for the link!).

August 10, 2009

ACM Records Finding Aid Available!

I am very happy to announce that the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Records have been fully processed and are open for research.

The collection contains the official records of ACM from 1947 through 2007 and documents its administration, operations, projects and its Special Interest Groups (SIGs), which represent virtually every major area of computing.

Please see the finding aid for more details, and feel free to contact CBI with any research requests.

More Finding Aids

We have recently made available three new collections whose finding aids are available online:

John Day Papers (CBI 165)
: contains documentation on early networking standards

Ingrid Arneson Collection (CBI 209): Arneson's collection of IBM promotional videos from the early to mid-1990s

Russell K. Hobbie Computer Animation Films (CBI 203): a small collection of very early 16-mm single-concept films, thought to be some of the first examples of computer animation.

April 16, 2009

Book series on the history of computing

An exciting new book series will be published by Springer, starting in 2011, entitled "History of Computing." Our own Jeff Yost is on the advisory board for this project, and well-regarded computing historian Martin Campbell-Kelly is the series editor. The series, according to Springer's website, "examines content and history from four main quadrants: the history of relevant technologies, the history of the core science, the history of relevant business and economic developments, and the history of computing as it pertains to social history and societal developments." The first volume will be A Science of Operations, by Mark Priestley of the University of Westminster.

April 2, 2009

Tomash Library Catalog

I am extremely happy to announce that Erwin Tomash's catalog of his library on the history of computing and computation is now available on CBI's website on our Hosted Publications page. Mr. Tomash has kindly given us permission to host a copy of the publication. It's a beautiful and scholarly work, and I highly recommend taking a look at it.

March 24, 2009

ACM Fellowship

We thought some of you may be interested in the ACM History Committee's new fellowship program supporting research into the history of ACM:

Send me an email if you are interested in learning more about the contents of CBI's ACM Records in conjunction with this fellowship.

March 16, 2009

Google Love

Google Gadgets have made it possible for me to display some of our information in entirely new formats. I've just added a new mapping feature to our Burroughs photographs webpage that displays Burroughs facility sites all over the world. The sites are displayed as pinpoints on the map, and if you click on one of the pinpoints, a thumbnail of an image will display along with a linked caption to the larger image.

I'm going to continue to play around with various Google gadgets and other features to see what I can make of it. Leave your comments below!

Also, many thanks to Lisa Johnston, the University's physics, astronomy, and geology librarian, who told me about this functionality.

February 2, 2009

Cognitive Science, 1978

With permission of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, CBI has been able to digitize and make available this survey of the discipline of cognitive science, published on October 1, 1978. According to the preface, the report "attempts to describe the state of research in cognitive science and broadly outlines the theoretical viewpoints and research objectives of scholars in the field." Please see our hosted publications page for additional freely available resources.

November 24, 2008

Annals Through the Years

Following is a press release on an exciting online feature celebrating 30 years of publishing contributions of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, with some nice quotes from CBI associate director Jeff Yost:

*IEEE Computer Society Press Release:*


*Annals through the Years Feature Will Highlight Contributions Computers and Computing Have Made to Society Since 1979*

*LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., Oct. 28, 2008 –* The IEEE Computer Society, the world's leading organization of computing professionals, is proud to announce that its IEEE Annals of the History of Computing magazine will celebrate 30 years of publishing contributions in 2009 with an exclusive online compilation called Annals through the Years.

To mark the anniversary, Editor in Chief Jeffrey Yost will select a hallmark article and column from each year of Annals’ publication, starting from 1979. These selections, along with Yost’s commentary on their importance, will be featured in the Computing Then section of Computing Now (, the online home of the Computer Society’s technical magazines.

"For three decades, Annals has been publishing path-breaking academic scholarship, pioneer accounts, and department pieces detailing the rich history of computing around the world,? said Yost, associate director of the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota. "Annals through the Years highlights this material with a few selections from each year, which have been chosen for their importance or continuing interest."

.....For further information about IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, including subscription information, visit
For information about Computing Then, visit
For further information about Computing Now or to sign up for a free newsletter, visit


Robin Baldwin, Magazine Business Operations Manager
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

November 19, 2008

LIFE Images on Google

Google has just announced a new LIFE magazine photo archive hosted on its site: I did a quick search using the keyword "computer" and got 10 pages of images, and the digitized images thus far are only 20% of the images that will eventually be available.

October 27, 2008

Search Widget on CBI Homepage

I've added a new search widget to the CBI homepage! It will allow you to keyword search our finding aids, our Burroughs photo database, and our cataloged publications, all in one box. I'm hoping that it will be convenient for research.

Note: our search is not Google-like. Rather, it's a phrase-based search system, so that it's best to be minimalistic in your keywords. For instance, a search for "Calvin Mooers" will not result in any hits, because his name is "Calvin N. Mooers" in the finding aid. A search just for "Mooers," however, will give you the correct results.

September 8, 2008

AHA Archives Wiki - CBI page

I just created a rudimentary page for CBI on the American Historical Association's Archives Wiki. The wiki is designed to be useful to historians and archival researchers of all disciplines. Please feel free to go in and edit our page with information you've found useful if you've done research here, or let me know here in the comments what information you'd like included.

July 21, 2008

Public Historian

Please check out the Public Historian, a really interesting blog written by a PhD student in the history of sci/tech/med program here. Full disclosure - her latest post is full of some nice things to say about CBI.

July 18, 2008

Computer History Museum Collections

The Computer History Museum has announced the inauguration of a new online search system for research in their collections and artifacts:

June 4, 2008

Computing Then

See for an exciting new resource in the history of computing: "Computing Then." It's the history portion of Computing Now, a web portal from IEEE focusing on promoting the content of IEEE publications through selective free published content. Computing Then will focus heavily on print content and podcasts from the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (a journal edited by CBI's own Jeff Yost) in addition to video interviews from other IEEE CS journals.

The site's official launch is tomorrow, so this is a sneak preview! :-)

May 29, 2008


For all you U of M folks:

The Library Portal team is pleased to announce a new feature to MyLibrary: the ability to save citations. Since the middle of January, library users have been able to save favorite e-journals and indexes to the MyLibrary interface on the MyU Portal and the libraries' web site. This service has been surprisingly popular with over 1,650 individual users making use of the functionality.

Now users can also save citations to MyLibrary. This is done through a new menu option on "Find It" menus called "Save citation/journal to MyLibrary." We encourage you to give it a try on your own MyLibrary page at:

Of course, this new functionality is not meant to compete with RefWorks. It is meant to be a really simple and easy way to save a citation and come back to it later.

May 7, 2008


Tom asked me to post the following about an exciting resource that we now have available on our website:

With support from Cisco Systems, CBI digitized the entire run of the journal ConneXions—The Interoperability Report (1987-1996). ConneXions was a central forum for discussing the technical issues and international standards that made the Internet into a seamless, interoperating network. The collection includes many articles by leading members of the Internet community as well as reports on varied managerial, technical, and organizational initiatives. The scanned PDF files are available as individual monthly issues as well as yearly compilations; the site totals 1.5 GB. ConneXions was published by the Interop Company, and this site is with the permission of its successor firm, CMP United Business Media. Ole Jacobsen is presently editor and publisher of The Internet Protocol Journal .

March 24, 2008

New Finding Aid - I. Bernard Cohen

We have a new collection processed and ready for use: the I. Bernard Cohen Papers, CBI 182. Emilia, our visiting library student from Illinois, did a great job arranging and describing the collection. Thanks, Emilia!

March 4, 2008

IT History Society Blog

Paul Ceruzzi has recently started a blog for the IT History Society, located at . Since the subject matter will be so pertinent to CBI research and collections, I'll be following Ceruzzi's blog closely. Welcome to the blogosphere, Paul!

February 19, 2008

Cortada Bibliography Available Electronically

CBI is happy to announce that we have scanned and made available, with permission, the first of three of James Cortada's bibliographies of the history of computer applications. The other two will be forthcoming. The volume is available on CBI's Hosted Publications webpage. The file is rather large, so it may take some time to open on your computer. Enjoy!

February 18, 2008

New Archives and Special Collections Website!

Take a look at the new and improved website for the University of Minnesota's Archives and Special Collections department!

February 11, 2008

Archives Wiki for Historians

I just wanted to call your attention to a new archives wiki set up by the AHA, located at They're hoping to use it for historians and other scholars to share information about specific archives. Right now, the archives listed seem pretty arbitrary (the only archives listed in the state of Minnesota is the Minnesota Historical Society), but it'll be very interesting to see where this goes.

The ArchivesNext blog has a thought-provoking post on this topic.

February 6, 2008

New Finding Aids

Two new finding aids available on the web site!

1) Kenneth W. Kolence Collection of Association for Computing Machinery Publications, and
2) The Robert W. Pomeroy Papers.


January 22, 2008

Minnesota HSTM Blog

The History of Science, Technology, and Medicine program here at the U has created a blog for their departmental news, discussions, and information. They're welcoming contributions from friends of the program as well as current faculty and staff, and best of all, they've linked to the CBI blog :-) Go on over and check it out!

January 15, 2008

Another New Finding Aid

Another collection is now available for research use. Donald Ross, a professor of English here at the U, recently donated his collection on computing, education, language, and the humanities to CBI. It's been processed and the finding aid is online at

January 14, 2008

New Finding Aid

A new, important collection is now available to CBI researchers! Historian James W. Cortada has donated to CBI his research files for his three-volume Digital Hand, along with a set of IBM publications and archival documents. The finding aid to this collection is located at

January 11, 2008

Burroughs Photo Database Down

Unfortunately, our Burroughs Collection photograph database is currently having technical difficulties and is unavailable for searching. I will let you know when it goes back up; in the meantime, you can always search the Burroughs Corporation Records finding aid for all Burroughs photographs (and other materials) that have not been scanned. I apologize for the inconvenience!

December 20, 2007


This came around on a U of M Libraries listserv. It's an online alphabetizer that could be useful, I thought, for bibliographies. Are there other research applications that you can think of?