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Guide to the Digital Equipment Corporation records
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Collection Overview
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The Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) records comprise DEC's corporate archives, with material dating from 1947 to 2002. The bulk of the collection was collected and created during the company's years of operation from 1957 to 1998. DEC, founded by engineers Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson, was one of the largest and most successful computer companies in the industry's history. Widely recognized for its PDP and VAX minicomputer product lines, by 1988 DEC was second only to IBM as the world's largest computer company. This collection holds the papers of DEC's executives, engineers, and personnel -- including the personal collections of founders Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson. Also included are DEC's administrative records and material relating to product development and engineering, with committee meeting minutes, correspondence, internal newsletters, product proposals, and engineering drawings. Most of DEC's publications, such as manuals, promotional and sales material, and technical reports, are represented in this collection as well. Lastly, DEC's large corporate photo library and archive remains intact as a part of this collection, holding tens of thousands of original product photographs, portraits of DEC personnel, images showing client applications of DEC products, brochures, and historical files with visual documentation of the company's beginnings and milestones. In 1998, DEC was acquired by Compaq, ending its run as a company, though many of its groundbreaking technologies went on to sell under different branding and influence subsequent directions of computing and its industries.
Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) was one of the largest and most profitable computer companies in the world, initially known for its modules, then for its PDP and VAX families of computers, and finally for the Alpha microprocessor.
1,239 Linear feet,611 record cartons, 357 manuscript boxes, 56 newspaper boxes, 169 periodical boxes, and 150 other box types
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 as owner of the material.
The collection is open for research.