News from the Archives
Charles Babbage Institute

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News from the Archives

Collections at CBI
In the last newsletter, Tom Misa reported on the completion of the large project that the CBI Archives undertook with the University Libraries cataloging staff to increase the visibility and accessibility of the books in the James W. Cortada Collection. Since that time, we have additionally completed cataloging of the Erwin Tomash book collection (CBI 75) and the books and serials in the Carl Machover Collection. This increased visibility continues to drive requests for these incredible resources.

CBI has long been known primarily for its remarkable collections of archival collections and our storage facility has been set-up specifically to accommodate maximizing space for standard archival boxes. While book collections were waiting for cataloging they were able to be housed in such boxes. With increased visibility and demand, however, we are now reconfiguring space in our caverns in order to create a section dedicated to books and serials. We are drawing on the state-of-the-art storage and retrieval systems established by the Minnesota Library Access Center — a system that organizes print materials by size in order to maximize space. A great deal of work has already taken place, relocating collections and making modifications to collection shelving. Work will continue in the weeks and months to come in rehousing publications and updating records.

This work will enable CBI to further develop and grow this fabulous collection of historic resources — a task in which we are already engaged! Since the last newsletter we have also acquired remarkable collections on computer security from Eugene Spafford and Rick Smith, computer design software and associated user-groups from Mark Simonson, and the personal computing library of Eric Weiss, including the books authored by Weiss himself and other remarkable areas of focus (such as those on artificial intelligence). The books constitute only one portion of Weiss’s generous gift to CBI, which will also be the home for his collection of personal papers that includes records pertaining to his work with the Association for Computing Machinery, Sun Oil Company, the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and Lehigh University.

CBI also received from Data Systems Analysts, Inc., the collection of records that document the development, installation, use, and history of AUTODIN, the earliest and longest running computer network developed by Data Systems Analysts, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Defense. This is another remarkable set of materials in original formats — both physical and digital. I am grateful to all of our donors for making the materials that tell the stories of their contributions to computing accessible to CBI’s local, national, and international community of researchers.

R. Arvid Nelsen


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