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UAI 20.944.5

Harvard University. Records relating to the presentation of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator to Harvard University, 1944 August 7 : an inventory

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAI 20.944.5
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University.
Title: Records relating to the presentation of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator to Harvard University, 1944 August 7
Date(s): 1944 August 7
Quantity: .73 cubic feet (1 pamphlet binder, 1 phonograph record container)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (Mark I) was developed by Harvard University Professor Howard D. Aiken (1900-1973) in collaboration with engineers from the International Business Machines Corporation beginning in 1937. This collection contains a typewritten stenographer's transcript and seven phonograph records (12 inch, 78 rpm long-playing (LP) format) documenting the presentation of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator to Harvard University on August 7, 1944.

Acquisition information:

The documents in this collection are University records and were acquired in the course of University business. Whenever possible the archivist noted the terms of acquisition in the folder description.
Acquistions
  • 1960 August, James R. Reynolds
  • 1944 October 17, Dean Baker
  • Processing Information:

    This inventory was created in May 2014 by Dominic P. Grandinetti from a cursory inspection of the material and a variety of information sources. In some cases, titles were devised by the archivist. The records (UAI 20.944.5 and UAI 20.944.10) were re-processed as the Records relating to the presentation of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator to Harvard University, 1944 August 7 and assigned the call number UAI 20.944.5. Call number UAI 20.944.10 (Speeches at the presentation of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, 1944 August 7) was eliminated.

    Researcher Access:

    Open for research with the following exceptions: the original phonograph records are not available due to fragility.

    Preferred Citation:

    Harvard University. Records relating to the presentation of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator to Harvard University, 1944 August 7. UAI 20.944.5, Harvard University Archives.

    Related material in the Harvard University Archives

    Historical note

    The Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (Mark I) was developed by Harvard University Professor Howard D. Aiken (1900-1973) in collaboration with engineers from the International Business Machines Corporation beginning in 1937. The first "computer," the Calculator or Mark I was presented to Harvard University on August 7, 1944 by International Business Machines Corporation President Thomas J. Watson at a ceremony attended by Harvard President James B. Conant, university officials, naval officers, and International Business Machines executives. The Calculator was designed for use by the United States Navy and the Army's Bureau of Ordinance to help compute ballistic tables. It also made classified calculations for the Manhattan Project. After World War II, the Calculator was used in such fields as astronomy, atomic physics, optics, and electronics.

    References

    Scope and Contents

    This collection contains a typewritten stenographer's transcript and seven phonograph records (12 inch, 78 rpm long-playing (LP) format) documenting the presentation of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator to Harvard University on August 7, 1944. The transcript and phonograph records include the remarks given at the presentation by Harvard President James B. Conant, Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and Civil Engineering Howard D. Aiken, International Business Machines Corporation President Thomas J. Watson, and Dean of the Harvard Faculty of Engineering, Harold M. Westergaard.

    Inventory update

    This document last updated 2016 November 10.

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