The Computer History Museum (CHM), the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on the human experience, announced today that it is a recipient of a 2019 Recordings at Risk grant awarded from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The Museum was awarded $50,000 to catalog, digitize, preserve, and make publicly available 1,959 audio and moving image tapes from the Digital Equipment Corporation Records (DEC) dated between 1979 and 1998. The Museum’s project was one of only 20 selected from a total of 77 applications.
The recordings are part of the largest and most complete record of DEC in existence. The tapes the Museum will digitize contain seminars and lectures on DEC’s personal computer development projects, promotional material on major products, and speeches by corporate VIPs on a range of issues facing the company. The materials will provide a unique view of the company, and will encourage new historical research on the origins of computing and networking as a commercial enterprise, the competitive pressure of the early high tech market, and early collaborations between academic research and industry.
Established in 2017, Recordings at Risk is a national regranting program administered by CLIR to support the preservation of rare and unique audio, audiovisual, and other time-based media of high scholarly value through digital reformatting.
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images.
The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program. The Museum’s signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by USA Today as “the Valley’s answer to the Smithsonian.” “Make Software: Change the World,” opened in 2017, illustrates the impact of software on the world through the stories of seven iconic and widely used applications. Other current exhibits include the “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles,” “Thinking Big: Ada, Countess of Lovelace,” “One Word,” and demonstration labs featuring fully restored and working models of the DEC PDP-1 and the IBM 1401 systems. For more information and updates, visit www.computerhistory.org or call 650.810.1010.
The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.