Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the John P. Imlay papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (90.04 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Processing Information
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of the Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Separated Material

  • Title: John P. Imlay papers
    Identifier/Call Number: X3175.2005
    Contributing Institution: Computer History Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 7.67 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1966-1994
    Abstract: The John P. Imlay papers consist of materials reflecting changes in the software industry during the 1970s and 1980s, specifically within the software company Imlay led from 1971 through 1989, Management Science America, Inc. (MSA). This collection shows the progression of a small business based in Atlanta, Georgia, growing into an international corporation valued at $333 million when it was sold in 1989. The collection also shows how MSA’s software products changed during its lifetime, initially developing software made for mainframe computers and then shifting its products’ design toward performing on personal computers (PCs) in the late 1980s. Included in the collection are correspondence, publications, business records, legal documents, and conference proceedings reflecting the life of Imlay and his company, MSA, which merged with McCormack & Dodge to form Dun & Bradstreet Software Services (D&B Software) in 1989.
    creator: Imlay, John P.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Bo Doub and Kim Hayden, 2015.

    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], John P. Imlay Papers, Lot X3175.2005, Box [#], Folder [#], Catalog [#], Computer History Museum.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of John Imlay, 2005.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    John P. Imlay Jr. was born in Jacksonville, Florida on August 26, 1936. He attended college at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and received a BA in industrial management in 1959. After graduation Imlay worked for several companies, including Univac and Honeywell. In 1971 Imlay was appointed chief executive officer of Management Science America, Inc. (MSA), a major software company. Imlay was tasked with bringing the company out of bankruptcy. Under his leadership, MSA jettisoned the company’s more than one dozen business lines, retaining only the software business, and grew from $2 million in revenue in 1970 to $280 million in 1989 when the company was purchased by The Dun & Bradstreet Corp. Imlay set aside a small percentage of his profits from the sale of MSA – about $4 million — to invest in startups. Over the next two decades Imlay Investments Inc. provided venture funds to more than 120 small technology companies. In 1996 Imlay retired after serving as chairman of Dun & Bradstreet Software, the company formed with the merger of MSA and McCormack & Dodge. In 2010 Imlay retired from angel investing. He died March 26, 2015.

    Scope and Content of the Collection

    The John P. Imlay papers contain materials collected by Imlay primarily during his leadership of the software company Management Science America, Inc. (MSA). The records span 1966 through 1994 with the bulk of the collection being from 1971 to 1989 during the time that Imlay held various leadership roles at MSA including board chairman, chief executive officer, and president. The collection includes correspondence between Imlay and software industry leaders, publications both authored by MSA and/or regarding MSA and its place in the software industry, business records, legal documents surrounding multiple litigations that MSA was party to and United States Congress legislation that Imlay was personally involved in, MSA annual reports, and conference proceedings.


    The collection is arranged into 2 series:
    Series 1, Correspondence and personal papers, 1972-1994
    Series 2, Publications, 1966-1992

    Separated Material

    A portion of audio, ephemera, and photographs were separated from the main collection. Separated materials include promotional materials for MSA and Compushop, slides and photographs of Imlay and others, and a promotional MSA audio record. To view catalog records for the separated items please search CHM’s online catalog at http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/search .

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Computer software
    Computer software industry
    Dun & Bradstreet Corporation
    Dun and Bradstreet Software Services
    Imlay, John P.
    Management Science America