Guide to the Frank da Cruz Kermit records

Finding aid prepared by Jack Doran and Sara Chabino Lott
Processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from the National Archives’ National Historical Publications & Records Commission: Access to Historical Records grant.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA, 94043
(650) 810-1010
January 2020


Collection surveyed by Rita Wang and Sydney Gulbronson Olson in 2016.

Title: Frank da Cruz Kermit records
Identifier/Call Number: X6335.2012
Contributing Institution: Computer History Museum
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 32.64 Linear feet, 21 record cartons, 5 manuscript boxes, 1 newspaper box
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1977-1988
Date (inclusive): 1968-2011
Abstract: The Frank da Cruz Kermit records consist of organizational and administrative materials related to Columbia University’s Kermit project, documents that provide a historical context to the project, Kermit books and manuals published by Frank da Cruz and his colleagues, press and publicity concerning Kermit, Kermit software, and standards related to Kermit or the general development of the character and data-set standards fields.
Languages: Collection is predominantly in English, but there are some materials in Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.
creator: Da Cruz, Frank, 1944-

Processing Information

Collection surveyed by Rita Wang, 2016.
An inventory of collection contents was created by the donor. To view the CHM catalog record and inventory for the Frank da Cruz Kermit records, please search the CHM catalog at

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], Frank da Cruz Kermit records, Lot X6335.2012, Box [#], Computer History Museum.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Frank da Cruz, 2011.

Biographical/Historical Note

Francis (Frank) da Cruz was born in Washington D. C. on November 10, 1944. Da Cruz, whose parents were both in the military, grew up in rural Virginia as well as on Army bases in Germany. He was first exposed to computer programming while a member of the US Army in the early 1960s. He began attending Columbia University in 1966 and received a BS in Sociology and later a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Da Cruz was an employee and faculty member of Columbia from 1974, when he began in the Computer Center, until his layoff in 2011. In 1981 da Cruz began working on the 30-year project known as Kermit. Kermit is a file transfer and management protocol, and communications software tools set which was initially developed by da Cruz and Bill Catchings. Kermit was intended to facilitate the ability of Columbia’s students to save their work and move those files between diverse computers on campus that used different character sets, file systems, and communications. Conversion between EBCDIC and ASCII character sets was one of the earliest functions built into Kermit. The first file transfer with Kermit occurred in 1981 and Columbia University coordinated the development of Kermit for many different computers both inside and outside of the University, and distributed the software for free. In 1986 the University officially founded the Kermit Project which took over version development and started charging a fee for commercial use. By 1988 Kermit was available on more than 300 computers and operating systems. Columbia University ceased supporting the Kermit Project in 2011 and released it to open source. The project was named after the fictional character in The Muppet Show television series with permission from Henson Associates, Inc.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Frank da Cruz Kermit records consist of materials related to Columbia University’s 30-year Kermit project. Spanning 1968 through 2011, with the bulk of the material dated between 1977 and 1988, the collection contains subject files that provide context to the Kermit project, articles and papers published in magazines, newsletters, newspapers, and professional journals, correspondence, publicity material, books on Kermit written mostly by da Cruz and his colleagues, including some drafts and early proof material, software, including different versions and platforms, updates, and utilities, material related to character and data-set standards, user guides and course material, manuals for various terminals and modems, and guides, directories, and instructional materials related to APRANET.


The collection is arranged into 4 series:
Series 1, Kermit project files, 1977-2011, bulk 1983-1988
Series 2, Standards, 1979-2003, bulk 1983-1989
Series 3, Manuals, 1972-2001, bulk 1977-1995
Series 4, Networking publications, 1978-1985; 1988

Separated Material

Physical objects and ephemera were separated from the archival collection. To view catalog records for separated material search the CHM catalog at .

Related Collections at CHM

Kermit oral history panel, Lot X6479.2012, catalog number 102746411. Joe Doupnik oral history, Lot X6479.2012, catalog number 102746462.

Related Collections at Other Repositories

Frank da Cruz Collection, UA#0172, accession number 2010.2011.M086, University Archives, Columbia University.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Columbia University
File Transfer Protocol (Computer network protocol)
Kermit Project


Kermit project files, Series 1,  Bulk, 1983-1988 1977-2011

Series Scope and Content

This series contains files directly related to the Kermit project and maintained by da Cruz during his time at Columbia University. The first and largest subseries is “Subject file.” Though much of the material in this subseries is unique, there is some subject overlap with other subseries (i.e. in the case of books vis a vis the subseries “Publications”). The subseries “Publicity” consists primarily of write ups about Kermit, its development, and capabilities, but also includes articles about Kermit and related platforms from trade journals and Columbia University publications. The subseries “Publications” consists of Kermit protocol and software books and manuals written by Frank da Cruz, Christine Gianone, and others, as well as books and manuals that discuss Kermit in some capacity. The subseries “Software” is made up of diskettes and CD-ROMs containing different versions of Kermit as well as miscellaneous updates and utilities. With the exception of the subseries “Subject file,” which was artificially created, Da Cruz’s original order has been maintained.


This series is arranged into four subseries:
Subseries 1.1, Subject file, 1977-2000, bulk 1983-1993
Subseries 1.2, Publicity, 1983-2003, bulk 1983-1993
Subseries 1.3, Publications, 1983-1998
Subseries 1.4, Software, 1980-2002, bulk 1982-1986

Subject file, Subseries 1.1, Bulk, 1983-1993 1977-2000

Subseries Scope and Content

This is an artificially created series consisting of materials that did not fit into any series or subseries previously established by da Cruz. Original folder titles have been maintained except in cases where they were changed for the purpose of clarity. There may be some overlap with materials found in other series of this collection. For instance, the materials collected in the folders Books: Kermit: a file transfer protocol… may also exist among the supplemental materials in the corresponding titled folders in Subseries 1.3, “Publications.” The Historical file contains a unique collection of materials related to Kermit’s history, and the Soviet seminar folders reflect the enthusiasm on the part of da Cruz and others of generating international interest in Kermit. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

102796734 Apple 1983-1986


102796759 Apple II Kermit 1990-1993


102796751 Asynchronous protocols 1977-1987


102796811 Books : administrative records 1984-1990


102796770 Books : Kermit : a file transfer protocol : book reviews 1985-1990


102796806 Books : Kermit : a file transfer protocol : draft and layout ca. 1986


102796805 Books : Kermit : a file transfer protocol : original art ca. 1987


102796808 Books : Kermit : a file transfer protocol for universities 1984


102796810 Books : miscellaneous book reviews 1990-1992


102796762 Byte magazine articles 1983-1986


102796827 C-Kermit 2001-2005


102796818 C-Kermit 6.0 release 1996-1997


102796772 Character sets opinion 1989


102796815 Club Kermit 1986-1992


102796812 Columbia University Center for Computing 1983; 1988-1990


102796744 Commodore 64 1983-1984


102796758 Computer Sciences Corporation 1991-1993


102796823 Copy license for Kermit software 2010


102796825 Correspondence 1986-2000


102796755 CP/M 1990-1993


102796765 CP/M-80 1983-1993


102796752 CP/M-86 1983-1985


102796771 cu20b to cunixc conversion 1988


102796729 Cyrillic characters 1990-1991


102796750 Data General AOS/VS 1992


102796774 Data General AOS/VS Kermit 1990-1992


102796748 DEC-20 Kermit 1983-1984


102796804 DECSYSTEM-20 undated


102796787 DECUS Japan 1987


102796809 DECUS symposium : Anaheim, California 1984


102796778 DECUS symposium : Switzerland 1988-1990


102796788 Decus U.S. DECsystem Spring 1977 reports 1977


102796786 DECUS U.S. : Nashville, TN 1987


102796768 Digital Press reviews 1989


102796749 Doomsday Kermit 1992


102796747 DX protocol 1983-1988


102796824 End of the Kermit project, The 2006-2011


102796773 Fast-paced Kermit April 1992 1992-04


102796742 Fortran 1983-1984


102796763 Hands-on introduction to Kermit class 1987


102796733 Historical file 1981-1988


102796785 I-Kermit listserv reports 1987-1989


102796760 IBM Lanacs 1990


102796738 IBM virtual machines (VMs)/Cambridge Monitor System (CMS) 1983-1986


102796775 IEEE and ACM membership 1988-1989


102794370 Info-Kermit ca. 1988-1993


102796826 Internet Kermit service 2000


102796754 ISO-8859-1 1989


102796780 Japan Kermit talk 1988


102796731 Kanji characters 1990-1991


102796819 Kermit 95 1.1.17 patch 1998


102796743 Kermit courses 1986-1987


102796781 Kermit distribution center technical report undated


102796737 Kermit for PDP-11 1981-1988


102796816 Kermit News 1995


102796761 Kermit p-system 1985


102796746 Kermit projects (miscellaneous) 1983-1989


102796817 Kermit technical discussions 1988-1989


102796757 Kermit-12 1989-1990


102796756 Kermit-370 1989-1992


102796779 Kermsrv 1986-1989


102796732 Locking shift mechanism 1991


102796767 Marketing 1986-1990


102796769 McNamara, John 1986-1990


102796739 Michigan Terminal System (MTS) 1983-1984


102796813 Micro Europe conference 1986


102796735 MSDOS 1983-1988


102796741 Multics Programming Language One (PL/I) 1983-1984


102796807 Muppets calendar 1981


102796766 pro-350 Kermit 1983-1984


102796740 Programming Language One (PL/I)/PRIME systems 1983-1989


102796776 Soviet seminar 1983-1995


102796764 Table of processes (top)/Unix 1987


102796753 Telecommunication devices for the deaf 1987-1991


102796814 Telecommunications software courses 1986-1991


102796777 TEX and METAFONT : new directions in typesetting 1979


102796730 Uncompleted projects ca. 1984-1992


102796745 University of California San Diego Pascal 1983-1984


102796736 UNIX Kermit 1983-1985


Publicity, Subseries 1.2, Bulk, 1983-1993 1983-2003

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries consists of articles and clippings about Kermit’s PC and Mac capabilities, articles published in professional journals, proof material for books published by da Cruz and Christine Gianone, press releases, newsletters from Princeton and Columbia, printouts of online copy related to Kermit and its history, and Digital press catalogs and other publications related to Kermit.

102794346 Publicity 1 1986-1999


102796782 Publicity 2 1984-1986; 1991-1994; 2003


102796783 Publicity 3 1983-1997


102796784 Publicity 4 1986-2002


102796797 Publicity binder 1 1986-1993


102796798 Publicity binder 2 1988-1991


Publications, Subseries 1.3, 1983-1998

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries consists primarily of books and manuals about Kermit protocol and software written by both Frank da Cruz and Christine Gianone, various texts published on Kermit and the implementation of Kermit, and books and other publications that mention and/or discuss Kermit.

102796789 Books that discuss Kermit 1986-1998


102796790 Kermit protocol and software 1987-1997


102794371 Other Kermit publications and articles 1983-1995


Software, Subseries 1.4, Bulk, 1982-1986 1980-2002

Subseries Scope and Content

This subseries consists of various Kermit releases, updates, and utilities in various floppy sizes as well as CDROMs.

102794350 Apple II Kermit undated


102794378 C-Kermit 1985; 1997; 2000; 2002


102794358 C-Kermit and MS-DOS Kermit Assembler Source Code undated


102794348 C86 Kermit source code undated


102794320 CC-DOS / MS-DOS Kermit version 2.32/A undated


102794347 CP/M 2.2 release 7 03/18/1986 bootable undated


102794363 CP/M-86 Kermit undated


102794360 CTOS Kermit undated


102794353 DEC Rainbox Kermit CP/M & MS-DOS undated


102794356 EasyK Version 1.10 (Kermit Made Easy) 1987


102794365 HP 3000 Kermit undated


102794321 Independent Television News ACT Apricot Kermit undated


102794376 INTERTEC SuperBrain DOS Diskette 1980


102794374 Ivo Welch 1984-1985


102794355 Kaypro Kermit undated


102796791 Kermit 95 1996


102796792 Kermit 95+ 2000


102796793 Kermit 95+ 2002


102794357 Kermit for ATT7300 undated


102794361 Kermit for P/OS undated


102794362 Kermit from Lancaster University undated


102794380 Kermit HP-150 1983; 1985


102794349 Kermit PDP-11 boot disks undated


102794372 Kermit-11 binaries 1986-07


102794379 Miscellaneous Kermit diskettes 1982-1994


102794381 Miscellaneous Kermit diskettes 1988; 1990; 1992


102794377 Miscellaneous original Kermit diskettes 1984-1988


102794318 MS II Pro revision 3 Kermit - MS version 2.28 undated


102794319 MS-DOS Kermit; MS-DOS Kermit version 2.29; MS-DOS Kermit version 2.29B; MS-DOS Kermit version 3 .01 undated


102794359 PC Format undated


102794351 RML Kermit undated


102776946 RML Kermit V 1.22 undated


102794375 SB Kermit 1985-06-06


102794366 VAX/VMS Kermit-32 undated


102794354 Vector Graphics Kermit undated


102794352 VT180 Kermit undated


102794373 Windows Kermit from William S. Hall


Standards, Series 2, Bulk, 1983-1989 1979-2003

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of books and manuals related to character and data-set standards, as well as telecommunications standards. These are significant to the development of Kermit specifically but also provide a historical collection of computational deciphering. Included is a nearly complete set of the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) manuals, various European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) publications, and a collection of different additions of the Unicode Standard manual from 1991 to 2003. The original order has been maintained.

102796801 Character-set standards 1979-1996


102796796 International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCIT) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) telecommunications standards relating to modems 1990-1997


102796794 International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) blue books, vols. II-VI 1989


102796795 International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT) blue books, vols. VII-VIII 1989


102794364 Other data communications standards and collections 1980-1987


102796803 Other Publications Related to Character Sets 1980; 1989; 1995


102796799 Other standards 1987-1988


102796800 Proprietary Data Sets 1987, 1990, 1994-1995


102796802 Unicode 1991; 1992; 1996; 2000; 2003


Manuals, Series 3, Bulk, 1977-1995 1972-2001

Series Scope and Content

This series consists of user guides and instructional materials collected by Frank da Cruz over the course of his career. The bulk of the series is made up of manuals for various terminals from 1972 to 1990, and then a general collection of manuals with an emphasis mainly on software and programming. There are also a number of folders containing manuals for modems as well as instructional materials for UNIX and C users. The original order has been maintained.

102794343 Manuals 1 1976-1993


102794344 Manuals 2 1977-1995


102794368 Modem manuals 1977-2001


102794367 Terminal manuals 1 1972-1990


102796820 Terminal manuals 2 1979-1981; 1984; 1986


102796821 UNIX and C manuals 1988; 1999


Networking publications, Series 4, 1978-1988

Series Scope and Content

This series consists primarily of guides, directories, and instructional materials related to APRANET, but also includes a general guide written by Frank da Cruz and Christine Gianoni titled, Understanding Data Communications Protocols and Software. The original order has been maintained.

102796822 Networking publications 1978-1985; 1988