Continuing a Legacy
Moving into a position vacated by a long-standing predecessor can be a challenge. In my case, it has truly been an honor to follow in Arvid Nelsen’s footsteps as the interim Archivist for CBI. His foundational work to bring attention to hidden voices and social issues in the history of computing, the practical aspects of building and maintaining an amazing print collection, and his strong leadership and involvement within our profession sets a high bar for me. Arvid is greatly missed, but I hope that I can build upon his legacy in shaping the archives and special collections within CBI. Thus far, I have enjoyed getting to know our diverse donor and researcher community and working with colleagues in the College of Science & Engineering to encourage students to utilize primary sources in their research.
Research in Focus
It has been a busy summer and fall for new researchers at CBI. We’ve had the opportunity to welcome several international visitors, as well as two of our Norberg Fellows (Ekaterina Babintseva and Salem Elzway). A range of our collections have been used – including the Gartner Group Records (CBI 228), our very strong Soviet, Russian, and Eastern Bloc Collection (CBI 148), Sperry Rand Corporation Univac Records (CBI 129), Engineering Research Associates (ERA)-Remington Rand-Sperry Rand Records (CBI 176), the Edmund Berkeley Papers (CBI 50), the Margaret R. Fox Papers (CBI 45), the Mark P. McCahill Papers (CBI 195), and various aspects of the Control Data Corporation Records (CBI 80) and the Burroughs Corporation Records (CBI 90).
A Season of Plenty
Between April and October, nine wholly new collections and six accruals to existing ones arrived at CBI. There is a wide range in subject matter within the new materials – many of which build on CBI’s traditional strengths in computer security, women in computing, programming languages, and regional computing organizations, as well as a few new areas of collection focus. Of the new collections, the two largest are those donated by former DARPA director Stephen J. Lukasik and Marilou Harrison, who donated the records of her late husband’s (Lee Harrison III) company Computer Image Corporation.
The arrival of Stephen Lukasik’s papers provide a remarkable trove of research materials for those interested in cybersecurity, the federal government’s considerable reach across the history of computing, as well as an interesting cache of records documenting the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), of which Mr. Lukasik was a member. These materials are currently being processed and we hope to make them available to researchers by next summer. A summary finding aid of the collection is currently available in our finding aid database for anyone interested in a preview of the materials.
The records of the Computer Image Corporation are an exciting addition to CBI’s newest collecting focus — the colorful history of the computer generated imaging and animation industry. Brought to CBI with the assistance of Ed Kramer, Joan Collins, and Marilou Harrison, we are thrilled to bring researchers into contact with the groundbreaking work of Lee Harrison III — a true pioneer in analog computer animation. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the films from the donation, especially the live action test footage of Scooby Doo from 1973 and very early ad work for Tony the Tiger.
In addition to Stephen Lukasik and Marilou Harrison, I would also like to thank recent donors Henrietta Gale and the Internet Legacy Institute, Terry Benzel, Scott Grabow, Lyn Bates, Fred Honhart, Burt Grad, Charles Bachman, the families of Eric Weiss and Christopher Shaw, and Col. Thomas Bailey for their materials — look for these finding aids in Spring 2017.