Learn More

A collection of resources.

The following is a collection of resources related to the history of computing, including archives, websites, museums, and bibliographies of recommending readings. Whether through print publications or through digital archival materials, we invite you to continue your exploration of computing history in Minnesota and throughout the world.

Please note that all links below will open in a new browser window and take you away from this website.
Content on these external resources is not maintained or managed by MN Computing History. 

Archival Resources in Minnesota

Learn about Minnesota’s rich computing history through online collections and by visiting local archives.

  • The University of Minnesota Libraries’ Department of Archives and Special Collections (ASC) houses a wide array of materials – including documents related to the history of computing – that support interdisciplinary research.

    Located in the Elmer Andersen Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the ASC reading room is open to anyone interested in learning more about history.

  • Center for the History of Information Technology

    The Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) is a research center at the University of Minnesota dedicated to preserving the history of information technology, particularly the history of digital computing, programming/software, and computer networking since. CBI also conducts and publishes historical and archival research that promotes the study of the history of information technology internationally.

  • Lawshe Memorial Museum houses a permanent collection of artifacts related to both Dakota County’s history and also to computing in the state. The museum features rotating exhibits on various themes throughout the year, and their historical records research center offers extensive resources on topics from genealogy to local city and township histories to Minnesota-based computing companies.

    The Lawshe Museum and the office for the Dakota County Historical Society are located in downtown South St. Paul, Minnesota. The collections, which include books, magazines, census data, photographs, city planning data and more, are open to the public.

  • The Minnesota History Center (MNHS) is part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s network of historic sites and museums. Collections include photographs, artifacts, maps and atlases, oral histories, works of art, sound recordings and much more telling the story of Minnesota’s rich history.

    Browse MNHS’s online archives, or search the wealth of records in the Gale Family Library, located inside the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

  • The VIP Club – a group of retirees and former employees of Minnesota-based Lockheed Martin, Unisys, Sperry UNIVAC, and other predecessor companies – works to preserve and maintain Minnesota’s computing history. Their online collections contain a wealth of materials related to computing including photographs, documents, and first-hand accounts of developing and working with innovative computing technologies.

Archival Resources in the U.S. and Abroad

Explore the history of computing, from museums located throughout the United States to international libraries.

The British Library


Computer History Museum

Mountain View, California

Hagley Museum and Library

Wilmington, Delaware

Science Museum Group

Locations throughout the United Kingdom

Stanford University’s Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford, California

The Strong: National Museum of Play

Rochester, New York

Select Readings on Computing History

Dear, Brian. The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture. Pantheon Books, 2017.

Misa, Thomas J. Digital State: The Story of Minnesota’s Computing Industry. University of Minnesota Press, 2013

Misa, Thomas J. Building the Control Data Legacy: The Career of Robert M. Price

Norberg, Arthur L. Computers and Commerce: A Study of Technology and Management at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, Engineering Research Associates, and Remington Rand, 1946-1957. Cambridge: MIT Press 2005.

Lundstrom, David E. A Few Good Men from UNIVAC. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987.

Hall, Donald. Generation of Wealth: The Rise of Control Data and How It Inspired an Era of Innovation and Investment in the Upper Midwest. Nodin Press, 2014.

Jensen, Mark and Norb Berg, Frank Dawe, Jim Morris. HR Pioneers: A History of Human Resource Innovations at Control Data Corporation. North Star Press of St. Cloud, 2013.

Akera, Atsushi. Calculating a Natural World: Scientists, Engineers, and Computers During the Rise of U.S. Cold War Research. MIT Press, 2006.

Campbell-Kelly, Martin, and William Aspray, Nathan Ensmenger, Jeffery Yost. Computer: A History of the Information Machine. Westview Press, third edition 2013. Available online – 1st edition.

Campbell-Kelly, Martin, and Daniel D. Garcia-Swartz. From Mainframes to Smartphones: A History of the International Computer Industry. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.

Campbell-Kelly, Martin. From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry. MIT Press, 2003.

Ceruzzi, Paul E. A History of Modern Computing. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998; second edition 2003.

Cortada, James W. The Digital Hand. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins, eds. From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998.

Ensmenger, Nathan. The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise. MIT Press, 2010.

Freiberger, Paul, and Michael Swaine. Fire in the Valley: The making of the personal computer. New York: McGraw-Hill, second edition 2000.

Franchi, Stefano, and Güven Güzeldere, eds. Mechanical Bodies, Computational Minds: Artificial Intelligence from Automata to Cyborgs. MIT Press, 2005.

Grier, David Alan. When Computers Were Human. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.

Hafner, Katie, and Matthew Lyon. Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet.  Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Horowitz, Roger, ed. Boys and Their Toys? Masculinity, Class, and Technology in America. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Johnston, Jessica. Technological Turf Wars: A Case Study of the Computer Antivirus Industry. Temple University Press, 2008.

Kafai, Yasmin B., Carrie Heeter, Jill Denner, and Jennifer Y. Sun, eds. Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008.

Lecuyer, Christophe. Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970. MIT Press, 2005.

Leslie, Stuart W. The Cold War and American Science: The Military-Industrial-Academic Complex at MIT and Stanford. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993. Available online.

Oldenziel, Ruth. Making Technology Masculine: Making Technology Masculine: Men, Women and Modern Machines in America, 1870-1945. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1999.

Priestley, Mark. A Science of Operations: Machines, Logic and the Invention of Programming. Spring, 2011.

Pugh, Emerson W. Building IBM: shaping an industry and its technology. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1995.

Russell, Andrew L. Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Stearns, David L. Electronic Value Exchange: Origins of the VISA Electronic Payment System. Springer, 2011.