The Charles Babbage Institute is proud to make available to researchers on this website materials produced by CBI staff and other writers who have entrusted their materials to CBI. Additional materials will be added to this site as we receive them.
History of Computing in India (1955-2010) [pdf, 96pgs]
by Vaidy RajaramanThis report, by esteemed computer scientist Vaidy Rajaraman, provides a rich look at the history of computing in India--surveying key developments in academe and industry, and their contexts. Rajaraman drew on both his direct experience with some of this history and well as substantial research to produce this important volume. It is a product of the IEEE Computer Society History Committee, on which Raj serves, and he and the IEEE CS History Committee have kindly granted authorization to republish it as a CBI web-hosted publication.
A Culture of Innovation: Insider Accounts of Computing and Life at BBN [pdf, 584pgs]
Edited by David Walden and Raymond NickersonBolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) has had a profound impact on the history of computing for more than a half century--from cybernetics and artificial intelligence to the ARPANET and networked email. This volume expertly captures the innovative culture and technical work in computing at BBN over sixty plus years through the writing of 19 long-time engineers and managers with the firm. The book is divided into three parts: Part I: Founders and Early Days in Computing; Part II: Culture, Business, and Management; Part III: Applying Computer Technology.
Computing Memories [pdf, 38pgs]
Excerpted from Blessed with Too Many Talents, a 2011 memoir by Nancy Welty Clark, this segment highlights Clark's work with early computer models, beginning in 1951. Clark was employed at General Electric, where she worked on Air Force design projects programming the IBM CPC. She also worked at Beckman Instruments, Convair and Sperry/Remington Rand in California during the 1950s. From the early 1960s to the late 1970s, Clark worked an applied mathematician at Argonne Laboratory and programmed many of the early IBM and CDC computers. Her observations of work environments as a female computer professional are of interest, as are her comments on the idiosyncrasies of various machines.
Host/Host Protocol for the ARPA Network [pdf, 28pgs]
Prepared for the Network Working Group by Alex McKenzie BBN January 1972This is an "original" document, typed on a multiple-font typewriter with pasted-in artwork, appearing here as a PDF, to supplement the Internet RFC version that is constrained to be ASCII characters only.
Technology: Our Tireless Servant [pdf files]
A set of public talks given by William C. Norris, Chairman and CEO of Control Data Corporation, in 1977-78, addressing employment, education, export policy, and the image of business, as well as urban and rural life.
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.
The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing: An Annotated and Illustrated Catalog [pdf files]
By Erwin Tomash and Michael R. WilliamsPublished in 2008, this work catalogs in detail Erwin Tomash's extensive library documenting the origins of computing. The books date from 1180 to 1955 and include information about all forms of reckoning and other aids to calculation. The catalog is reproduced here in electronic form by permission.
Resources for the History of Computing: A Guide to U.S. and Canadian Records [pdf (OCR), 76 MB, 185pgs]
By Bruce H. Bruemmer, Charles Babbage Institute, 1987Published by the Charles Babbage Institute in 1987, this pioneering guide identified and described North American archival resources in the history of computing. Stanford’s Henry Lowood identified it as one of three “indispensable guides” from the 1980s that helped shape “the strategies and programs that guided the growth of archival resources in the history of computing.” The guide, organized by state and province, lists specific archival collections and it features extensive name and subject indexes.
Cognitive Science, 1978 [pdf (OCR), 70.7MB, 318pgs]
Report of the State of the Art Committee to the Advisors of the Alfred P. Sloan FoundationWith 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."
ConneXions—The Interoperability Report (1987-1996) [pdf files]
Edited by Ole JacobsenWith 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 .
Second Bibliographic Guide to the History of Computing, Computers, and the Information Processing Industry [pdf (OCR), 191MB, 426pgs]
Compiled by James W. CortadaThis updated bibliography was published by Greenwood Press in 1996, and electronically published here with permission. The 7000 annotated entries are grouped into sections on origins, inventions and hardware, information processing industry, and managing data processing. This 190 MB PDF file is an OCR document and can be text-searched. Communication Booknotes Quarterly hailed it as an "invaluable annotated and structured index to the huge literature."
A Bibliographic Guide to the History of Computer Applications, 1950-1990 [pdf (OCR), 104MB, 293pgs]
By James W. Cortada (compiler)Published by Greenwood Press in 1996, and electronically published here with permission, this was the first bibliography on the applications of computing. The 1600 annotated entries are divided into two dozen sections on (e.g.) accounting, agriculture, airline reservations, architecture, banking, construction, education, insurance, legal, medical, military, and many more. This 100 MB PDF file contains ‘bookmarks’ to assist readers in locating entries. The book formed groundwork for Cortada’s Digital Hand trilogy.
A Bibliographic Guide to the History of Computing, Computers, and the Information Processing Industry [pdf (OCR), 66 MB, 644 pgs]
Compiled by James W. CortadaThis pioneering bibliography was published by Greenwood Press in 1990, and is electronically published here with permission. "Almost anything that fits the subject can be found here," according to Choice: 4500 citations to books and chapters in books, articles from research journals, government reports, pieces from popular magazines.
The High-Technology Company: A Historical Research and Archival Guide [pdf, 60.2MB, 134pgs]
By Bruce H. Bruemmer and Sheldon HochheiserPublished by the Charles Babbage Institute in 1989, this pioneering guide to archival practices in high-tech companies was for some years distributed by the Society of American Archivists. Stanford’s Henry Lowood identified it as one of the “indispensable guides” in the history of computing that helped shape “the strategies and programs that guided the growth of archival resources in the history of computing.” The guide lists the general types of business records as well as provides a “documentary probe” based on the Control Data Corporation records held at CBI.
IBM Rochester: A Half Century of Innovation [pdf, 2.72MB, 54pgs]
Text prepared by Arthur Norberg and Jeffrey Yost
Published in commemoration of the Minnesota facility’s 50th anniversary. Long an important manufacturing and development center, IBM Rochester is today perhaps best known for developing the AS/400 mid-range computer system, rolled out with great success beginning in 1988 with more than 1,000 software packages and an attractive mix of cost and speed. Arthur Norberg and Jeffrey Yost, CBI's former director and present associate director, respectively, conducted seventeen oral histories with Rochester executives and engineers to supplement the available archival record. Norberg and Yost begin the story with the founding of the Rochester division in 1956, when IBM was seeking a Midwestern manufacturing facility for its mechanical punch card machines, and carry the story all the way through present-day concerns with quality manufacturing as well as IBM’s emphatic shift into software and services.
The COOK Report on Internet Protocol: Technology, Economics, Policy [pdf or txt files]
The COOK Report on Internet Protocol: Technology, Economics, Policy is a monthly newsletter focusing on the technology and policy complexities of Internet infrastructure development. The COOK Report has been published since April 1992. The abstracts and executive summaries of past issues since 1993 are available at the Cook Report web site. From 2002 to 2006, the Science & Engineering Library subscribed to the full-text of the newsletter in both PDF and ASCII (plain-text) formats. In 2009 the Science & Engineering Library sent the files to the Charles Babbage Institute for hosting and preservation. As a licensed resource, access is limited to University of Minnesota students, faculty and staff. To view an issue of The COOK Report, please click on the format (pdf or txt) for the month that you would like to access.
My Adventures with Dwarfs: A Personal History in Mainframe Computers [pdf, 1.86MB, 242pgs]
By Russell C. McGee
A well-written memoir by a mainframe pioneer. Russ McGee relates his entry into computing during the early 1950s at Computer Control Company and at Hanford, and his early experiences with the user group SHARE and the IBM 709. The middle chapters tell the story of General Electric’s computer division in Phoenix AZ, including accounts of his work on GE 600-series, the Weyerhauser database system, and the virtual machine monitor. Also discusses McGee’s development of structured programming techniques. The appendices include technical material on the structure and programming of stored-program computers.
These materials are covered under the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).