About CBI(A)

20-21 May 2019

Charles Babbage Institute (CBI)

CBI historians design and administer research projects in the history of information technology and engage in original research that is disseminated through scholarly publications, conference presentations, and the CBI web site. CBI archivists collect, preserve, and make available for research primary source materials relating to the history of information technology. The archival collection consists of corporate records, manuscript materials, records of professional associations, oral history interviews, trade publications, periodicals, obsolete manuals and product literature, photographs, films, videos, and reference materials. CBI also serves as a clearinghouse for resources on the history of information technology.

Origins and Governance

  • 1978: Founded by Erwin and Adelle Tomash as the International Charles Babbage Society; office opened in Palo Alto, California.
  • 1979: American Federation of Information Processing Societies becomes principal sponsor of the Society; Society renamed the Charles Babbage Institute; companies and individuals in the information industries offer support.
  • 1980: University of Minnesota enters into a legal agreement to sponsor and house the Charles Babbage Institute; a new supporting entity, the Charles Babbage Foundation, is created to govern the Institute as a partner with the University.
  • 1989: University of Minnesota assumes all authority for the Charles Babbage Institute; CBI becomes an organized research unit of the University.

CBI Archives (CBIA)

The Charles Babbage Institute Archives (CBIA) collects, preserves and provides access to rich archival collections and rare publications documenting the history of technology, from the era of electromechanical calculators, through the development of the digital computer, mainframes, mini and microcomputers, software, the Internet, and computer graphics. Oral histories, photographs, journal and serial publications complement the archival and special collections holdings. CBIA is partnered with the Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) Research Center, part of the College of Science and Engineering’s History of Science, Technology, and Medicine program. The CBI Research Center historians design and administer research projects in the history of information technology and engage in original research that is disseminated through scholarly publications, conference presentations, and the CBI web site. Search our collections through the CBIA web site.

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