Archival History of Computing at MIT, 1950–62
The MIT Digital Humanities Programs, together with the MIT Libraries Department of Distinctive Collections, have digitized and contextualized the majority of archived documents relating to the history of the
MIT Computation Center
from the 1950s and early 1960s.
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Social science research
Behind the Scenes
How did undergraduates in 2019 immerse themselves in computation of the 1950s? Find out more here.
The Letter Network
Take a look at the top contributors in the MIT Computation Center archives by seeing a visualization of who was writing the most, and to whom.
Announcement of the IBM 704
In December of 1955, MIT and IBM collaborated in a joint press release to announce that the university would be receiving its own IBM 704 computer. This new device was very advanced for its time, and would significantly impact many fields of study.
A Brief Journey Inside the IBM 704
There was once a time when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology didn't have any computers. Check out this story to learn about the huge primitive beast that changed MIT.
Women in Symbols
Although women’s contributions to the MIT Computation Center are not very visible in this archive’s external lab communications, some internal documents shed light on a piece of their work.
One might presume that the primary issue with the computers of the 1950’s was that they were slow. But lack of processing power was not necessarily the bottleneck here.