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Guide to the George A. Michael 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

  • Title: George A. Michael papers
    Identifier/Call Number: X4269.2008
    Contributing Institution: Computer History Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 65.92 Linear feet, 49 record cartons, 1 manuscript box, 2 oversize flat boxes, and 1 small flat box
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1953-1991
    Date (inclusive): 1945-2000
    Abstract: The George A. Michael papers consist of material related to the growth of the supercomputing industry and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) computing activities while Michael worked there as a computational scientist from 1953 to 1991. The collection reflects Michael's key role in the advancement of supercomputing inside and outside of LLNL, with reports, manuals, articles, and records related to conferences and projects from LLNL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and other computing companies and organizations. His personal projects are also represented.
    Languages: The majority of the material in the collection is in English, but there is a small amount of material in French, German, and Italian.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Bo Doub and Kim Hayden, August 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], George A. Michael papers, Lot X4269.2008, Box [#], Folder [#], Catalog [#], Computer History Museum.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of George A. Michael, 2007.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    George Anthony Michael was born February 16, 1926, in Buffalo, New York. He first attended the University of Niagara in Niagara Falls, New York, and then moved across the country to attend the University of San Francisco, where he earned a degree in physics in 1952. The following year, Michael went to work as a theoretical physicist for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California, known then as the University of California Radiation Laboratory. Michael spent the majority of his career at LLNL.
    During his 41-year career at LLNL, Michael played a large role in building the Laboratory's high performance computing (HPC) program, which led to LLNL gaining an international reputation as a leader in supercomputing. He co-founded the Salishan Conference on High-Speed Computing in 1981 and also the annual ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference, first held in 1988. Through these activities and other initiatives, Michael was essential in improving communications and dialogue between national laboratories, academia, government, and private industry in the field of high-performance computing.
    Michael retired from LLNL in 1991, but continued to be active in the HPC community following his departure from the laboratory. Starting in 1995, Michael worked on compiling written histories and recording oral histories on the beginnings of computing at LLNL. Michael died on June 5, 2008, in Livermore, California.

    Scope and Content of the Collection

    The George A. Michael papers are primarily made up of records Michael collected while he worked as a computational scientist at LLNL from 1953 to 1991. His role in the development and advancement of supercomputing is well-represented in his papers.
    The first series of the collection is made up of materials created at LLNL that document the lab's computing projects and research, computing environment and programs, administrative issues, and conferences and events. This series is broken up into eight subseries.
    The rest of the collection consists of material created by or related to other companies and organizations, including a large number of computer manuals. The majority of manuals are from DEC, CDC, Remington Rand, and IBM, and these companies each have their own series in the collection. The other less-represented companies’ manuals are grouped together in a separate series. Technical papers and reports published by universities, research groups, and the U.S. government are included in the collection. Additionally, there is a large number of periodicals, including magazines and journals, and promotional material from various companies. The collection also contains material related to computer conferences and workshops, many of which Michael attended or participated in as a speaker or leader. A small portion of the collection contains material from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including LANL conference records and technical reports.
    The smallest portion of the collection is made up of Michael's personal papers. Most of these are related to his own projects and his role on the board of trustees in the early days of the Computer History Museum.


    The collection is arranged into 12 series:
    Series 1, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 1950-1997
    Series 2, DEC manuals, 1961-1985
    Series 3, CDC manuals, 1962-1979
    Series 4, Remington Rand manuals, 1950-1962
    Series 5, IBM manuals, 1945-1992, bulk 1953-1975
    Series 6, Other manuals and specifications, 1952-1991
    Series 7, Technical papers and reports, 1955-1996
    Series 8, Conferences, presentations, workshops, and course materials, 1949-1994
    Series 9, Periodicals, articles, and clippings, 1954-2000
    Series 10, Promotional materials, catalogs, and directories, 1954-1994
    Series 11, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1953-1990, bulk 1970-1985
    Series 12, Personal papers, 1948-1995, bulk 1969-1985

    Related Collections at CHM

    Buckholtz, DeSaussure, and Michael Collection, Lot X2592.2004, Computer History Museum.
    Oral History of George Michael, 2006, Lot X3418.2006, Computer History Museum.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Control Data Corporation
    Digital Equipment Corporation
    International Business Machines Corporation
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Michael, George A.
    Remington Rand, Inc.