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Guide to the Jeff Rulifson papers
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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
  • Related Collections at CHM
  • Related Collections at Other Repositories

  • Title: Jeff Rulifson papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 102733946
    Contributing Institution: Computer History Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 5.0 Linear feet 4 record cartons
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1961-1985
    Date (inclusive): 1956-1997
    Abstract: The Jeff Rulifson papers contain materials that document Rulifson's career as a computer scientist working on projects such as artificial intelligence, NLS (oN-Line Systems), and office information systems at Stanford Research Institute's Augmentation Research Center, Xerox PARC, ROLM Corporation, Syntelligence, Inc., and Sun Microsystems. The records span 1956 through 1997, with the bulk of the collection being from 1961 to 1985. Materials include technical papers and reports, videotape, correspondence, articles, memos, presentations, computer and programming manuals, and administrative papers.
    creator: Rulifson, Jeff

    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], Jeff Rulifson papers, Lot X6502.2012, Box [#], Folder [#], Catalog [#], Computer History Museum.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Jeff Rulifson, 2011.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Johns "Jeff" Rulifson was born August 20, 1941, in Bellefontaine, Ohio. He began his career working in the computer operations department of Boeing from 1960 to 1963. He then worked at the Computer Center of the University of Washington from 1963 to 1965, and earned his BS in mathematics from the university in 1966.
    Rulifson went on to work for the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) Augmentation Research Center from 1966 through 1973. At SRI, Rulifson was instrumental in the research of artificial intelligence programming languages, specifically focusing on question-answering systems. He was also the lead programmer for their pioneering collaborative computing system NLS (oN-Line System). In 1968, Rulifson represented SRI in the ARPANET network working group, a consortium of computer scientists who worked together to implement the ARPANET, the networking technology that was the basis for today's internet.
    Rulifson left SRI in 1973 and went to work at Xerox PARC, where he was manager of the office research group, which developed autonomous, distributed office information systems (OIS). In 1980, he began working for ROLM Corporation as an engineering manager, and in 1985 he moved to Syntelligence, where he was the manager of banking products. In 1987, Rulifson joined Sun Microsystems, which was purchased by Oracle in 2010, as the director of VLSI Research, a position he still holds. Rulifson held chairman of the board positions at the Doug Engelbart Institute from 1995 to 2014, and the Open Group from 2001 to 2003.
    In 1990, Rulifson won the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Software Systems award for his work on NLS, along with co-developers Doug Engelbart and Bill English. He became an ACM fellow in 1994.

    Scope and Content of the Collection

    The Jeff Rulifson papers contain materials collected by Rulifson during his time at Stanford Research Institute’s Augmentation Research Center, Xerox PARC, ROLM Corporation, Syntelligence, Inc., and Sun Microsystems. The records span 1956 through 1997 with the bulk of the collection being from 1961 to 1985. The materials from Rulifson's work at SRI ARC includes reports, notes, and videos related to his work on the QA4 artificial intelligence programming language and NLS (oN-Line System), and writings and video footage of his colleague at SRI ARC, Doug Engelbart. Rulifson's records from Xerox PARC document his work as manager of the Office Research Group, where they conducted studies on office procedures and information flow in order to develop Office Information Systems (OIS) like OfficeTalk. At ROLM, Syntelligence, and Sun Microsystems, Rulifson's job responsibilities were more administrative and managerial, and the materials he collected reflect this change in responsibilities. Out of these last three positions, the collection contains a much larger amount of material from ROLM than from Syntelligence or Sun Microsystems. The collection also contains manuals from the 1950s and 1960s primarily for IBM and UNIVAC systems.


    The collection is arranged into 4 series:
    Series 1, SRI ARC records, 1961-1997, bulk 1966-1973
    Series 2, Xerox PARC records, 1967-1982
    Series 3, ROLM, Syntelligence, and Sun Microsystems records, 1981-1992
    Series 4, Manuals, 1956-1969

    Related Collections at CHM

    SRI ARC/NIC records, Lot X3578.2006, Computer History Museum

    Related Collections at Other Repositories

    Douglas Engelbart Symposia Records (SC0561). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Engelbart, D. C., (Douglas Carl), 1925-
    International Business Machines
    ROLM Corporation
    Stanford Research Institute. Augmentation Research Center
    Sun Microsystems
    Syntelligence, Inc.
    Xerox PARC (Firm)
    Univac computer