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Guide to the Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of the Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Related Collections at CHM

  • Title: Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records
    Identifier/Call Number: X4735.2008
    Contributing Institution: Computer History Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.75 Linear feet, 3 record cartons
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1981-1986
    Date (inclusive): 1978-1986
    Abstract: The Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records consists of records that Rubinstein retained for his own use from his tenure at MicroPro International Corporation. Rubinstein was the founder and CEO of MicroPro, and an influential innovator in the software industry. Rubinstein was the lead developer of MicroPro’s flagship product WordStar, which was one of the first commercially successful software applications for the personal computer (then called a microcomputer). This collection includes records about MicroPro’s financial, legal, and personnel history as well as the marketing, sales, and development of MicroPro products, especially WordStar. It also includes a small amount of Rubinstein’s personal papers.
    creator: Rubinstein, Seymour

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Computer History Museum (CHM) can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claims of the copyright holder. Requests for copying and permission to publish, quote, or reproduce any portion of the Computer History Museum’s collection must be obtained jointly from both the copyright holder (if applicable) and the Computer History Museum.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], [Date], Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records, Lot X4735.2008, Box [#], Folder [#], Catalog [#], Computer History Museum.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Seymour Rubinstein, 2006.

    Processing Information

    Files were originally stored in groupings of standard file folders within hanging files. During processing, the creator’s folder label on hanging folders, if any, was included as a prefix to the creator’s folder label on the standard folders. This was done in an effort to preserve the creator’s original arrangement and context.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Seymour I. Rubinstein, an influential innovator within the software industry, was born in 1934. He grew up in New York, received a B.S. from City University of New York and an M.B.A. from the Baruch School of Business. Rubinstein ran his first program on an IBM mainframe 1620 in 1963, which sparked his interest in a career in computing. In 1964, Rubinstein was hired at Sanders Associates as their Manager of Programming Development for the Data Systems Division. At Sanders he developed a telecommunications software interface for CRT terminals. He went on to work as a computer programming manager, and as a consultant to a variety of firms. He designed several telecommunication software systems in the fields of banking, law firm management, and online credit card authorization. He was also Director of Marketing for IMSAI Manufacturing Corporation, providing leadership on management and product development strategies.
    Rubinstein founded MicroPro International Corporation (MicroPro) in June, 1978. At MicroPro, Rubinstein served as President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board, and later as Chairman Emeritus. MicroPro released word processing software WordStar, one of the first commercially successful applications for the personal computer, in 1979. MicroPro had many software products, but WordStar’s success was a primary driver of MicroPro’s $70 million valuation when the company went public in 1984.
    Rubinstein led the development of WordStar, working with programmer Rob Barnaby whom he had met at IMSAI. In 1990, Rubinstein was sued by former CEO of IMSAI, Bill Millard, who accused Rubinstein of stealing trade secrets to create WordStar. However, Rubinstein was not found guilty.
    Rubinstein claims responsibility for creating the end user software licensing agreement, a current industry standard, as well as for innovating the practice of creating distribution agreements with foreign vendors. Both of these developments contributed to the accelerated growth of the software industry.
    Rubinstein continued to be active in the software industry until the mid 2000s. In 1987 he worked on developing a spreadsheet called Surpass, which was later sold to Borland International and renamed Quattro Pro. In 1995, he founded a company called Prompt Software, which specialized in internet and intranet research as well as document management tools. In 2005, Rubinstein became the director for business development of Avatier Corporation. He also held directorships at large corporations including IMSI, InterTrust Technologies, and Prompt Software.

    Scope and Content of the Collection

    The collection includes financial, personnel, and legal records pertaining to MicroPro, documentation of marketing and sales of MicroPro products, and information about new product development. There is also a small amount of papers more specifically pertaining to Seymour Rubinstein himself and not MicroPro as a company. This collection does not include content about Rubinstein’s work with other companies, and contains limited information about MicroPro’s other products besides WordStar.


    The collection is arranged into 3 series: Series 1, Administrative records, 1978-1986 Series 2, Sales and product development, 1981-1986 Series 3, Personal papers, 1983-1986

    Related Collections at CHM

    PC Software Workshop: Word Processing, Lot X4311.2008, Catalog number 102658157.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    MicroPro International Corporation
    Rubinstein, Seymour
    Word processing -- Software
    WordStar 2000