Guide to the GTE Burst Switch Collection

Collection ID:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Information, Technology and Society
GTE Laboratories Inc.
Physical Description:
7 Cubic feet
14 boxes, 6 map-folders
Drawings, patents, notes, computer printouts, articles, and technical papers documenting the GTE Burst-switch; also, subject files relating to many aspects of the burst switch project.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The collection is arranged into ten series—articles and papers, patents, manuals and instructional guides, testing materials, notes, subject files, software/hardware information, Datacon wire wrap listings, drawings, and 5" and 8" floppy diskettes documenting the GTE burst-switch project. The majority of the project work was done in the early 1980s and continued through 1985. The subject files are arranged alphabetically and relate to specific aspects of the project. The drawings are divided into original and copies. The originals drawings are mylar or vellum. The Mark IIA refers to the final research model of the burst switch.

The collection is divided into ten series.
Series 1: Articles and Papers, 1983-1999
Series 2: Patents, 1987
Series 3: Manuals and Instruction Guides, 1987-1990
Series 4: Testing Materials, 1985-1987
Series 5: Notes, 1985-1988
Series 6: Subject Files, 1985-1991
Series 7: Software/Firmware, 1987-1989
Series 8: Datacon Wire Wrap Listings, 1985-1987
Series 9: Drawings, 1984-1987
Series 10: Floppy disks, 1987-1991

The burst switch was developed in the 1970s-1980s at the GTE Laboratories in Waltham, Massachusetts. The burst switch was one of the first switches to demonstrate how voice and data traffic could be integrated into a single network and be handled simultaneously. It was never manufactured on a large scale, but concepts derived from the technology have been used in numerous forms of telecommunications equipment.

Processing Information
Processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2003.
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Thomas Muldoon on December 17, 1999.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment.
Preferred Citation
GTE Burst Switch Collection, 1984-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
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.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Information, Technology & Society (now Division of Medicine and Science) on February 22, 2003.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Patents -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuals Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Electric switchgear Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings -- 1980-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Telecommunication Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Software Type 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