Guide to the John P. Imlay papers

Processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA, 94043
(650) 810-1010

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 .

Subjects and Indexing Terms

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


Correspondence and personal papers, Series 1, 1972-1994

Language of Material: English

Series Scope and Contents

This series contains letters, memoranda, photographs, presentation materials, articles, and legal documents collected by Imlay. The materials in this series are arranged by the topics chosen by the donor and most are related to Management Science America (MSA). Among the legal documents are the correspondence and court transcriptions regarding a lawsuit between MSA and McCormack & Dodge over wrongful use of confidential and proprietary information. In 1989 these same two companies under litigation merged under the ownership of the Dun & Bradstreet corporation to form Dun & Bradstreet Software Services (D&B Software). Also of interest in this series is correspondence documenting John Imlay’s support of multiple iterations of a computer-crime bill introduced before the United States Congress. In 1978 Imlay made a statement in favor of this bill before the Senate Select Committee on Small Business, which was transcribed and included in this series. In 1983 this bill was reintroduced as H.R.1092 - Federal Computer Systems Protection Act of 1983, which Imlay also supported via correspondence with legislators and business representatives. This series is arranged chronologically.

102734083 Kingsboro Road property records 1967-1979


102734075 Personal correspondence 1971-1980


102734076 John P. Imlay biographical information ca. 1971-1980


102734065 Management Science America (MSA) correspondence 1972


102734082 Personal papers ca. 1972-1993; bulk 1972-1978


102734066 Management Science America (MSA) correspondence 1973


102734067 Management Science America (MSA) correspondence 1974


102734048 Management Science America (MSA) sales team meetings and conferences 1974-1989


102734068 Management Science America (MSA) correspondence 1976


102734074 Robert T. Jones Memorial Scholarship records 1976-1981


102734069 Management Science America (MSA) correspondence 1977


102734050 H.R.1092 - Federal Computer Systems Protection Act of 1983 1978-1983


102734035 Addresses by John P. Imlay ca. 1978-ca. 1991


102734046 Francis A. Tarkenton 1980-1985


102734036 International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) strategic planning conference and data processing course 1980-1987


102734060 Management Science America (MSA) road show 1981


102734049 Management Science America (MSA) initial public offering 1981-1982


102734057 Management Science America (MSA) "kick-off" celebrations 1983-1987


102734058 Management Science America (MSA) planning strategy 1983-1987


102734063 Management Science America (MSA) and Association of Data Processing Service Organizations (ADAPSO) 1983-1988


102734061 McCormack & Dodge 1983-1989


102734039 Charles Yates 1983-1988


102734034 University Computing Company v. Management Science America, Inc. and Larry L. Smart 1984-1985


102734043 The Research Board, Inc. 1984-1991


102734085 Sky magazine article and correspondence 1986


102734062 Recasting Management Science America (MSA) 1988


102734059 Hicks, Maloof & Campbell 1988-1992


102734070 Dun & Bradstreet correspondence 1989-1990; bulk 1990


102734072 Dun & Bradstreet records 1990


102734077 Personal correspondence 1991


102734071 Dun & Bradstreet correspondence 1991-1992


102734078 Personal correspondence 1992


102734084 Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) - Information Technology Foundation (ITF) records 1992-1994


102734079 Personal correspondence 1993


102734073 Dun & Bradstreet correspondence 1993-1994


102734081 Honeywell photographs undated


102734080 John P. Imlay portraits undated


Publications, Series 2, 1966-1992

Language of Material: English

Series Scope and Contents

This series contains materials that document Imlay and MSA’s rise in the software world from 1966 to 1991. The series consists primarily of newspaper clippings, photocopies of articles, press releases, and complete periodicals that feature Imlay, MSA, Dun & Bradstreet, and the computer industry. Other materials include MSA annual reports from the 1970s through the 1980s, materials related to conferences, articles written by Imlay, and MSA promotional materials. Of particular interest in this collection is a folder containing materials about the 1985 Institute of Directors annual convention held in London, which includes a video of Imlay’s talk recorded on a CD. The series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

102734086 25 years 1986


102734051 Articles about John P. Imlay, Management Science America (MSA), computer industry, 1970s 1970-1979


102734044 Articles about John P. Imlay, Management Science America (MSA), computer industry, 1980s 1980-1989


102734045 Articles about John P. Imlay, Management Science America (MSA), computer industry, 1990s 1990-1992


102734047 Articles about the National Computer Conference 1983


102734052 Articles by John P. Imlay 1966-1991


102734040 Datamation newsletters ca. 1982


102734064 Dun & Bradstreet Software publications and press releases 1990


102734018 How to have a good year every year : the four-point power plan for maximum performance 1991


102734019 Institute of Directors annual convention records and video of John P. Imlay speech 1985


102734020 Magazines and newspapers with John P. Imlay, Management Science America (MSA), computer industry, 1970s 1972-1979


102734042 Magazines and newspapers with John P. Imlay, Management Science America (MSA), computer industry, 1980s 1982-1988


102734037 Magazines and newspapers with John P. Imlay, Management Science America (MSA), computer industry, 1990s 1990-1991


102734021 Management Science America (MSA) annual reports, 1970s 1972-1979


102734041 Management Science America (MSA) annual reports, 1980s 1980-1987


102734055 Management Science America (MSA) publications 1978-1988


102734054 Pamphlets 1966; 1978


102734053 Press releases ca. 1971-1982


102734038 Software revenue recognition issues paper 1987-04-21


A/V material, Series 3, Bulk, 1978-1993 circa 1951-1993

Language of Material: English

Series Scope and Contents

This series contains photographs, 35mm slides, posters, audio recordings, and film negatives documenting Imlay himself, his presentations, MSA promotions, and media that Imlay collected. Prior to the processing of this collection’s text, a portion of the photographs that Imlay donated were cataloged individually and scanned. Many of these photographs are formal portraits of Imlay and snapshots of him giving speeches. There are also slides and photographs of presentations from meetings or public talks, images of MSA promotional material, and an older photograph of the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) from circa 1951. A portion of these slides and photographs are unprocessed. This series also contains two promotional posters—one published by MSA and the other by CompuShop—and two audio recordings of music and performances. This series is arranged alphabetically by title.

102705964 "Unfavorable" press slides 1984-1985


102705957 1983 MSA advertising 1983


102705950 1993 kickoff meeting slides 1993-01


102705949 25 years 1992-12-02


102705945 Anderson consulting and DBS slides 1989-07-20


102705963 Best dressed slides 1984


102705955 Best of John Imlay 1977; 1980-1983; 1985-1987


102705961 Business Week slides 1980-08


102705969 Businessweek slides 1985-03


102705956 Charter partners 1986


102705958 Company story slides ca. 1992


102631297 Compushop - Literacy undated


102705946 Conference board slides 1991-02


102705947 D&B management meeting slides 1991-04-05


102705948 DBS international sales meeting slides 1991-01-14


102705940 Dun and Bradstreet senior management meeting 1990-04-04


102652496 EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Computer) ca. 1951


102705953 Georgia Tech slides ca. 1990


102652678 Group portrait with John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652683 Honeywell 316 Models undated


102705937 I.T. speech slide set 1 1981


102705938 I.T. speech slide set 2 1981


102705970 IBM quote slides 1986-03


102705965 Imlay and Koukis slides 1984


102705954 Imlay portrait slides 1978; 1982; 1985


102705952 ITAA roast slides 1992-10


102706599 John Imlay collection slides undated


102652493 John P. Imlay, Jr. 1980-10-10


102652497 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652513 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652512 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652511 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652487 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652489 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652516 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652505 John P. Imlay, Jr. ca. 1983


102652502 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652515 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652490 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652482 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652488 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652510 John P. Imlay, Jr. ca. 1983


102704207 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652507 John P. Imlay, Jr. ca. 1983


102704206 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652500 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652499 John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102652675 John P. Imlay, Jr. at the 1983 National Computer Conference 1983-05


102652679 John P. Imlay, Jr. in a group portrait undated


102705942 JPI association for systems management 1990-05


102705943 JPI interact 1989


102651539 Management Science America (MSA) promotional audio recording 1984


102705944 Master slides 1989-09


102705941 Miami, February 1990 1990-02


102631285 MSA - Henry Aaron undated


102705966 MSA advertising ca. 1984


102705951 MSA history slides ca. 1984


102705972 MSA industry press 1978-1986


102705973 MSA press 1985 1985


102705971 MSA press 1986 1986


102705959 MSA press slides 1979-1982; 1985-02


102705936 MSA Purpose slides 1984; 1993


102705962 MSA second quarter loss slides 1984-07-11


102705960 Open house slides 1991-06


102651538 PAEAN: an ACT/Inter-ACT Communication undated


102705967 Peachtree for sale slides 1984


102652522 Portrait of John P. Imlay, Jr. undated


102705968 Press slides ca. 1985


102652680 Teletype - Early Invention undated


102652681 Teletype - Model 15 undated


102705939 The computer that calls itself . . . ca. 1985