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Guide to the Company Collection of Computing Manuals and Marketing Materials
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Guide to the Company Collection of Computing Manuals and Marketing Materials
    Dates: 1930-2000
    Bulk Dates: 1960-1985
    Collection number: X3067.2005
    Collection Size: 440 linear feet
    Repository: Computer History Museum
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Abstract: The Company Collection of Computing Manuals and Marketing Materials at the Computer History Museum is comprised of catalogs, correspondence, design drawings, manuals, program listings, promotional materials, specifications, technical notes and technical reports from a wide variety of computer-related companies and institutions. The Collection covers 1930 through 2000, encompassing 440 linear feet of materials.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Computer History Museum can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claims of the copyright holder. Permission to copy or publish any portion of the Computer History Museum's collection must be given by the Computer History Museum.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], [Item Date], Company Collection of Computing Manuals and Marketing Materials, Lot X3067.2005, Box ID [#], Accession [#], Computer History Museum.


    The provenance is unknown for the Company Collection of Computing Manuals and Marketing Materials. The material came from a variety of different sources most likely as documentation for physical objects that were added to the museum's collection. The collection thus began in the 1970s when The Computer Museum was founded in Massachusetts. At that time, Gwen Bell, the museum's first curator, arranged documents alphabetically by originating institution or company. This system of arrangement has been maintained.
    When processing began in 2005, a found in collection lot number of X3067.2005 was assigned to the materials known as The Company Collection. The collection was processed by Computer History Museum staff, interns and volunteers from 2005 to 2007.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The scope of the Company Collection of Computing Manuals and Marketing Materials spans the rise of the information age in the twentieth century. This includes, among other areas, documents representing pre-computing technologies, mainframe computers, minicomputers, personal computers, computer input and output (I/O) devices, computer storage and memory devices, software development, supercomputing and networking materials. The Collection covers 1,400 individual companies or institutions.
    The Collection consists of over 10,000 documents including marketing brochures, manuals, design drawings, catalogs, program listings, promotional materials, specifications, technical notes and technical reports from 1930 to 2000. The bulk of the materials span the dates 1960 to 1985. The Collection is organized alphabetically by the name of the originating institution or company and then loosely by document creation date.
    Some companies are represented by hundreds of documents while others may have only one document represented. Due to the large size of the collection, we have not included a listing of every folder in the collection but a list of the fifty-eight computer companies that have twenty-five or more documents represented. To search for a particular computer company or product, please use the Computer History Museum's online catalog at: http://archive.computerhistory.org/search/.
    International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is the most represented company spanning 1936 to 2002 and encompassing over 1,700 documents and 75 linear feet of shelf space. The second most-represented materials relate to the producers of the UNIVAC line of computers (under the names Remington-Rand and Sperry Rand Corporation) and comprising over 440 documents spanning from 1940 through 1986. Control Data Corporation (CDC) and Cray Research, Inc. are also well represented in the collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Analog computers
    Computer Industry
    Computer input-output equipment
    Computer Software
    Computer Storage Devices
    Computer systems
    Electronic Data Processing
    Electronic Digital Computers
    Hybrid Computers
    Punched card systems
    Supercomputer Industry
    Tabulating Machines

    Separated Material

    Since the Computer History Museum is also the repository for the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) corporate records, documents from DEC have not been processed as part of the Company Collection.