Guide to the Computer Oral History Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0196
Creators:
Blanch, Gertrude
Bloch, Richard M.
Bradburn, James
Brainerd, John G.
Brown, George W.
Brown, Gordon S.
Buchholz, Werner
Burns, Robert
Atanasoff, John V.
Atchison, William
Auerbach, Issac
Bartik, Jean
Bauer, William
Beek, Allan
Bernstein, Mort
Bigelow, Julian
Coleman, [Ichel?]
Cohen, I. Bernhard
Computers, Information and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).
Computer History Forum.
COT Meeting.
Coombs, John
Crawford, Perry O.
Couret, Lynn
Campbell, Robert V.
Campaigne, Howard
Cannon, Edward
Canning, R.G.
Clem, Mary
Cass, James
CODASYL Meeting.
Clippinger, Richard F.
MIT Club Talks (Brown & Wiener).
Andrews, Ernest G.
American Federation of Information Processing Societies
Alt, Franz
Alrich, John
Association for Computing Machinery.
Association for Computing Machinery, 8/14/72
Argonne National Laboratories R.
Allard, Gerry
Aiken, Howard
Adams, Charles
Acton, Forman
Halstead, Maurice H.
Harmon, Leon
Harvey, Samuel
Hazen, Dean Harold
Gruenberger, Fred
Gunning, William
Hagen, Glenn E.
Hall, W.
Greenwald, Irwin
Greenwarld, Sidney
Griswold, Ralph E.
Grosch, Herbert R. J.
Goheen, Harry E.
Good, I.J.
Goteib, C.C.
Granholm, Jackson
Israel, David R.
Huskey, Harry D.
Kates, Josef
Juncosa, Mario
Householder, Alston S.
Horwitz, Bernhard R.
Hurd, Cuthbert R.
Howard, Bernard
Hopper, Grace Murray, 1906- (mathematician)
Holbrook, Bernard
Horner, Joseph
Horn, Robert J.
Herold, Henry
Herget, Paul
Holberton, Betty
Hertz, Ted
Elkins, Harold
Estrin, Gerald
Edwards, Walt
Elbourn, Robert
Eckert, J. Presper (John Presper), 1919-1995
Eddy, Robert Philip
Downey, William
Eckdahl, Donald
Dodd, Stephen
Dotts, Richard D.
Dietzhold, Robert
Dimsdale, Bernard
Desch, Joseph
Dickinson, Arthur H.
Curtiss, John H.
Dederick, [Louis?] S.
Glazer? T.
Givens, Wallace
Gill, Stanley
Geisler, Murray
Garrison, Ken
Frankel, Stanley
Forrester, Jay W.
Forrest, Cameron B.
Forbes, George
Fenaughty, Alfred L.
Fein, Louis
Feign, David
Farrand, William R.
Fall Joint Computer Conference, 12/6/72.
Fall Joint Computer Conference, 11/17/71.
Everett, Robert
Nelson, Eldred
Neisius, Vincent
Northrop, John
Neovius, G.
Parker, R.D.
Palevsky, Max
Phelps, Byron R.
Patrick, Robert
Pickrell, D.
Phister, Montgomery
Pollmyer, R.
Polachek, Harry
Quady, Emmett
Postley, John A. R.
Rajchman, Jan
Ream, Norman
Reed, Irving S.
Rees, Mina
Rhodes, Ida
Rice, Rex
Rochester, Nathaniel
Rogers, Jim
Rogers, Stanley
Rosenberg, Milton
Rosenthal, Paul R.
Rubinoff, Morris R.
Salzer, John M.
Samuel, Arthur L. R.
Sarkissian, Harold
Schuette, Roger
Serrell, Robert R.
King, Paul
Kilpatrick, Lester
Killian, James
Kaufold, Leroy R.
Lanzarotta, Sandy R.
Kreuder, Norman L.
Korn, Irving
Kirsch, Russell
Lovell, Clarence A.
Lehmer, Derrick H.
Legvold, Sam
Larson, Harry
Martin, Richard R.
Marden, Ethel
Madden, Don R.
Lowe, John
McPherson, John C.
Mendelson, Jerry
Mason, Daniel R.
Mauchly, John R.
Michel, J.G.L. R.
Miller, Frederick G.
Menzel, Donald H.
Metropolis, Nicholas C.
Mitchell, Joel
MITRE Meeting.
Mills, Roger L.
Morton, Paul
Mumford, Louis
Mock, Owen
Morse, Philip B.
Wilkinson, James H. R.
Wilkes, Maurice R.
Wizenbaum, Joe
Williams, Charles
Wieselman, Irving
Wiener, Robert
Wild, Arthur
Wieser, C. Robert
Wrench, John W. R.
Woodger, Michael
Yowell, E.C. R.
Youtz, Pat
Woo, Way Dong
Wolfe, Philip
Woodbury, William R.
Wood, Ben D.
Zemanek, Heinz
Zuse, Konrad
Smagorinsky, Joseph
Slutz, Ralph R.
Skramstad, Harold R.
Skillman, Sherwood R.
SIAM/SIGNUM Meeting.
SIAM-72.
SHARE XXXVIII.
SHARE Meeting for Pioneers.
Taylor, Norman
Tanaka, David
Strong, Jack
Stibitz, George
Steele, Floyd G. R.
Sprague, Richard E.
Snyder, Samuel
Smith, Charles V.L.
TV Program KQED.
Uncapher, Keith
Torfeh, Mark
Travis, Irven
Todd-Tausskky, Olga
Tomash, Erwin
Toben, Gregory
Todd, John
Wheeler, R.J.
Whirlwind Discussion.
Ware, Willis H.
Wegstein, Joseph Henry
Wagner, Frank
Wang, An R.
von Hippel, Arthur
von Neumann, John
Armer, Paul, 1924- (computer technician)
Rabinow, Jacob, 1910-
Dates:
1969-1973, 1977
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
43.5 Cubic feet
158 boxes
Repository:
The Computer Oral History Collection (1969-1973, 1977), was a cooperative project of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) and the Smithsonian Institution. This project began in 1967 with the main objective to collect, document, house, and make available for research source material surrounding the development of the computer.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of approximately 43.5 cubic feet of material documenting the development of the computer.
Scope and Contents
    ABC
    Atanasoff-Berry Computer
    ACE
    Automatic Computing Engine
    ACM
    Association for Computing Machinery
    ALGOL
    ALGOLrithmic Language
    ALWAC
    Axel Wenner-Gren Automatic Computer
    ARPA
    Advanced Research Projects Agency
    BACAIC
    Boeing Airplane Company Algebraic Interpretative Computing System
    BARK
    Binar Automatisk Rela Kalkylator
    BINAC
    Binary Automatic Computer
    BIZMAC
    Business Machine
    BMEW
    Ballistic Missile Early Warning (System)
    BUIC
    Back-up Interceptor Control
    CADAC
    Cambridge Digital Automatic Computer
    CALDIC
    California Digital Computer
    CEC
    Consolidated Electrodynamics Corporation
    CEIR
    Council for Economic and Industry Research
    COBOL
    Common Business-Oriented Language
    CODASYL
    Conference on Data Systems Languages
    CONAC
    Continental Automatic Command
    COMTRAN
    Commercial Translator
    CPC
    Card Programmed Calculator
    CRC
    Computer Response Corporation
    DARPA
    Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    DINA
    Digital Network Analyzer
    DDA
    Digital Differential Analyzer
    EDSAC
    Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator
    EDVAC
    Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer
    EAM
    Electric [or Electronic] Accounting Machines [or Methods]
    ENIAC
    Electronic Numerical Integrator and Automatic Computer
    ERA
    Engineering Research Associates
    ERMA
    Electronic Recording and Machine Accounting
    FADAC
    Field Artillery Data Computer
    FSQ
    Fixed Special eQuipment
    IAS
    Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton University)
    ICBM
    Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
    ILLIAC
    Illinois Automatic Computer
    INTERCOM
    Intercommunication System (Programming Language)
    JOHNNIAC
    John [von Neumann's ] Integrator and Automatic Computer
    JOSS
    Johnniac [John's Integrator and Automatic Computer] Open Shop System
    LARK
    Livermore Atomic Research Computer
    LAS
    Laboratories of Applied Science
    LGP
    Librascope
    MAC
    Magnetic Automatic Calculator/Multiple Access Computer
    MADDIDA
    Magnetic Drum Digital Differential Analyzer
    MAGIC
    Machine for Automatic Graphics Interface to a Computer
    MANIAC
    Mathematical Analyzer, Numerical Integrator, and Computer
    MIDAC
    Michigan [University of] Digital Automatic Computer
    MIDSAC
    Michigan [University of} Digital Special Automatic Computer
    MINAC
    Minimal Automatic Computer
    MIT
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    MITRE
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research Establishment
    MX
    Missile, Experimental
    NATDAN
    North American Digital Anaylzer
    NATPAC
    North American Programmed Automatic Computer
    NDRC
    National Defense Research Committee [of Office of Scientific Research and Development, World War II]
    NELIAC
    Naval Electronics Laboratory International Algebraic Compiler
    NORC
    Naval Ordnance Research Calculator [or computer] [Naval Ordnance Proving Ground]
    NTDS
    Naval Tactical Data Systems
    ONR
    Office of Naval Research
    ORACLE
    Oak Ridge Automatic Computer and Logical Engine
    ORDVAC
    Ordnance Discrete Variable Automatic Computer [AEC]
    OSRD
    Office of Standard Reference Data [National Bureau of Standards]
    PACT
    Project for the Advancement of Coding Techniques
    QUAC
    Quadratic Arc Computer
    RAMAC
    Random Access Memory Accounting Machine
    RAYDAC
    Raytheon Digital Automatic Computer
    REAC
    Reeves Electronic Analog Computer
    RECOMP
    Reliable COMPuter
    RESISTOR
    Reusable Surface Insulation Stresses [NASA computer program]
    SCERT
    Systems and Computer Evaluation Review Technique
    SCM
    Smith Corona Merchant
    SEAC
    U.S. Bureau of Standards Eastern Automatic Computer
    SHARE
    Society to Help Avoid Redundant Effort
    SHOT
    Society for the History of Technology
    SIAM
    Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
    SILLIAC
    Sydney [version of the ] Illiac
    SIMSCRIPT
    Simulation Script
    SNOBOL
    String-Oriented Symbolic Language
    SSEC
    Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator
    SUBROC
    Submarine Rocket
    SWAC
    U.S. Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer
    TPM
    Tape Processing Machine
    UDEC
    United Digital Electronic Computer
    UNIVAC
    Universal Automatic Computer
    WEIZAC
    Weizmann Automatic Computer [at Weizmann Institute]
    WISC
    Wisconsin Integrally Synchronized Computer
Scope and Contents
NT=No Transcript
R=Restricted

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into six series.
  • Series 1: Transcripts, 1969-1973, 1977
  • Series 2: Supplemental Documentation, 1922-1974
  • Series 3: Patents, 1940-1973
  • Series 4: John Vincent Atanasoff's Materials, 1927-1968
  • Series 5: Audio Tapes, 1967-1974, 1977
  • Series 6: Video Tapes, 1968-1972

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Computer Oral History Collection (1969-1973, 1977), was a cooperative project of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) and the Smithsonian Institution. This project began in 1967 with the main objective to collect, document, house, and make available for research source material surrounding the development of the computer. The project collected taped oral interviews with individuals who figured prominently in developing or advancing the computer field and supplemental written documentation--working papers, reports, drawings, and photographs. The AFIPS provided the "seed" money to support the project and to aid the Smithsonian with its expenditures. Interviews were conducted by I.B. Cohen, A. Dettinger, Bonnie Kaplan, Elizabeth Luebbert, William Luebbert, Robina Mapstone, Richard Mertz, Uta Merzbach, and Henry Tropp. In some instances, the audio tapes and/or transcripts are not "formal" interviews, but rather moderated panel discussions/meetings, or lectures delivered by interviewees.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Alison L. Oswald,archivist, March 1996; Revised by Alison Oswald, August 1999; May 2010.
Charlie Bachman and William Olle kindly reviewed and edited the Conference on Data System Languages (CODASYL) Meeting transcript.
Author
Alison Oswald
Sponsor
Online transcripts for select oral history interviews were made possible by the Morton I. Bernstein Fund and the Association for Computing Machinery, the Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD), and the Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Computer Oral History Collection was a cooperative project of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) and the Smithsonian Institution. This project began in 1967 and was concluded in 1973. This collection was transferred to the Archives Center in approximately 1986 from the Division of Information, Technology & Society, formerly known as the Division of Electricity.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Reference copies do not exist for all of the audio. Use of these materials requires special arrangement with the audiovisual archivist.
Original audio tapes are stored offsite. Contact repository for details.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Preferred Citation
Computer Oral History Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
The Archives Center contains several "computer" related collections:
  • American National Standards Institute, 1969-1979
  • Association for Computing Machinery Collection, 1958-1978 (Washington, D.C., Chapter)
  • N.W. Ayer Advertsing Agency Records, 1889-1972
  • Paul Armer Collection, 1949-1970
  • Robert G. Chamberlain Numerical Control Collection, 1954-1984
  • J. Childs Numerical Control Collection, 1952-1970
  • Computer Standards Collection, 1958-1978
  • Computer World Smithsonian Awards Collection, 1989-2001
  • Data Processing Digest Collection, 1955-1974
  • Max Holland Machine Tool Industry Collection, c. 1941-1990
  • Grace Murray Hopper Collection, 1944-1965
  • Information Age Exhibition Records, 1979-1990
  • Institute for Advanced Study Computer Project Records, 1950-1957
  • Instrument Society of America Collection, 1911-1969
  • Odex I Walking Robot Collection, 1973-1986
  • Jacob Rabinow Papers, 1910-1917; 1947-1990
  • Terry M. Sachs Collection, 1965-1969
  • Scientists and Inventors Portrait File, c. 1950-1980
  • Share Numerical Analysis Project Records, 1964-1970
  • SHARE Records, c. 1954-1984
  • Cliff Shaw papers, c. 1954-1985
  • Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Records, 1956-1992
  • Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, c. 1754-1965
  • Whirlwind I Computer Collection, 1945-1959
  • B.H. Worsley, 1946-1959
Within the National Museum of American History there are other related collections that may be found in the Division of Medicine and Science. These collections contain both artifacts and documents. Artifacts include: digital computing machines, automatic digital computers and electronic calculators, logic devices, card and tape processors, slide rules, integrators and integraphs, harmonic analyzers and synthesizers, differential analyzers, other analog computing devices, space measurement and representation, time measurement, and combination space and time measurement. Documentation includes the Electronic Computers History Collection and the Mathematical Devices History Collection. Photographs and video materials can also be found. The Smithsonian Institution Archives contains administrative documentation regarding the Computer History Project.

Accruals
Accruals
Approximately .15 cubic feet of material was added to the collection in January 2016. The material consists of notes, clippings, articles, resumes, and other biographical documentation about interviewees.

Other Finding Aids
Other Finding Aids
Interview Abstracts
For a brief overview of the interview contents and for biographical information on the interviewees, researchers should consult the interview abstracts. Not all interviews have abstracts.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Videotapes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oral history Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Physicists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Audiotapes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Computers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mathematics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mathematicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Engineers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews -- 1950-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Computers, Information and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives