Guide to the Stanford University Medical Experimental Computer Resource (SUMEX) Records SC1248

Daniel Hartwig & Jenny Johnson
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
January 2018
Green Library
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford 94305-6064

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Title: Stanford University Medical Experimental Computer Resource (SUMEX) records
Identifier/Call Number: SC1248
Identifier/Call Number: 19328
Physical Description: 33 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1975-1991
Physical Location: Special Collections and University Archives materials are stored offsite and must be paged 48 hours in advance. For more information on paging collections, see the department's website:

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer, 2008.

Preferred Citation

Stanford University Medical Experimental Computer Resource (SUMEX) records (SC1248). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Artificial intelligence -- History. -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area
Medical applications


SUMEX-AIM (Stanford University Medical Experimental Computer for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine) TENEX computer files Accession ARCH-2007-156 1974-1983

Physical Description: 18739.2 megabyte(s)(246,431 files in 5,218 directories)

Scope and Contents

The SUMEX-AIM network was a nationally-shared computing resource devoted entirely to designing AI applications for the biomedical sciences. Headed by Ed Feigenbaum and Joshua Lederberg, it demonstrated the power of the ARPAnet for scientific collaboration.
SUMEX-AIM was built using LISP (INTERLISP), one of the earliest high-level programming languages, which introduced many ideas such as garbage collection, recursive functions, symbolic expressions, and dynamic type-checking. INTERLISP was a programming environment built around a version of the Lisp programming language. Interlisp development began in 1967 at Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Massachusetts as BBN LISP, which ran on PDP-10 machines running the TENEX operating system. When Danny Bobrow, Warren Teitelman and Ronald Kaplan moved from BBN to Xerox PARC, it was renamed Interlisp. Interlisp became a popular Lisp development tool for AI researchers at Stanford University and elsewhere in the DARPA community. Interlisp was notable for the integration of interactive development tools into the environment, such as a debugger, an automatic correction tool for simple errors (DWIM - "do what I mean"), and analysis tools.

Access to Collection

The materials are restricted.

SUMEX Data printouts

box 1

Book 4; Archive Listing (even); Tape 302-400 1977 Oct 4-1978 Nov 13

box 2


box 3

Book 5; Archive Listing (odd); Tapes 401-499 1979 Nov 22-1979 Dec 12

box 4

Book 2; Archive Listing (even); Tapes 102-200 1976 Apr 5-1976 Dec 22

box 5

Printouts 1977

Box 6

Final Tenex Dump 1983 Feb 25

Box 7

Archive Listing (ODD) 1-99 1974 Apr 19-1976 Mar 27

Box 8

Archive Listing (EVEN) 2-100 1974 Apr 19-1976 Mar 27

Box 9

Archive Listing (ODD) 101-199 1976 Apr 5-1976 Dec 22

Box 10

Archive Listing (ODD) 201-299 1976 Dec 28-1977 Sep 19

Box 11

Archive Listing (EVEN) 202-300 1976 Dec 28-1977 Sep 17

Box 12

Archive Listing (ODD) 301-399 1977 Oct 4-1978 Nov 13

Box 13

Archive Listing (EVEN) 402-500 1978 Nov 22-1979 Dec 12

Box 14

Archive Listing (EVEN) 502-600 1979 Dec 18-1980 Oct 3

Box 15

Archive Listing (EVEN) 602-700 1980 Oct 3-1981 May 20

Box 15

Archive Listing 702-800

Box 14

Loose data printouts

Box 10

Killed directories

Box 16

Loose data printouts

Box 17

KS Documentation

Box 17

Loose data printouts

Box 17

Data printouts 1976 Jan

Box 17

Transition notes 2060-SUN-4

Box 17

Final Tenex Dump

Box 17


Box 18

Reports old grant applications

Box 19

Reports old grant applications

Box 20

Data 1982 Jul

Box 20

Full dump 1979 Jan

Box 20

Data 1978 Jan

Box 21

Loose data printouts

Box 22

Loose data printouts