Lecture 11. Computing in Canada Part 1:
in the beginning
Informal and unedited notes, not for distribution. (c) Z. Stachniak, 2011-2012.
Note: in cases I were unable to nd the primary source of an image or determine
whether or not an image is copyrighted, I have specied the source as unknown. I
will provide full information about images and/or obtain reproduction rights when
such information is available to me.
There has been a considerable eort in many countries to set up cultural
and research institutions to preserve for posterity computer artifacts that
document the cultural history of the information age. The mission of these
institutions is to showcase the outstanding contributions of these nations to
the development of computer and information technologies.
The list of such institutions is long and includes:
the Charles Babbage Institute (USA), the Computer History Museum (USA),
the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum (Germany), German Museum of Tech-
nology (Germany), Computer Museum, Achen (Germany), The National
Museum of Computing (UK), The Centre for Computer History (UK), the
Computer Museum at Bletchley Park (UK), ACONIT computer museum
(France), Computer Museum and Archive, Paris (France), Computer Mu-
seum of the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), the Finish Data
Processing Museum Association (Finland), the Computer Museum of the
Japanese Information Processing Society, Monash Museum of Computing
(Australia), the Canada Science and Technology Museum (Canada), York
University Computer Museum (Canada).
1 Fig. 1. Two worlds largest computer museums: Computer History Museum in Santa
Clara, CA (top, source: unknown), and Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum, Paderborn, Ger-
many (bottom, source: Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum).
2 In some countries, the museums of computing are set up and operated by
universities. These academic museums focus on building and maintaining
research collections with an aim to provide signicant infrastructure for aca-
demic research and teaching as well as to provide historical resources to
writers, artists, educators, and the media. These academic museums are
models for integrating scientic and technological heritage into the life of the
campus and local community.
Fig. 1. School visits the York University Computer Museum. Source: York University
The list of such University-based museums of computing is also long and
the Charles Babbage Institute of the University of Minnesota (US), Columbia
University Computing History (US), MIT Museum (US), Computer Science
Museum at UC Davis (US), Computer History Exhibits at Stanford (US),
3 Eniac Museum at the University of Pennsylvania (US), The university of
Virginia Computer Museum (US), The University of Saskatchewan Com-
puter Museum (Canada), Computer Museum of the University of Amster-
dam (The Netherlands), Gronigen University Computer Center Collection
(The Netherlands) The National Archive for the History of Computing at
the University of Manchester (UK), Museum of Computing at the Univer-
sity of Bath (UK), Computer Conservation Society (UK), Monash University
Museum of Computing History, Monash (Australia), Computer Museum at
University of Stuttgart (Germany), Data Processing Museum exhibits at the
Jyvskyl University, Agora, and JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Lu-
takko (Finland), York Univerity Computer Museum (Canada).
How much is known about the Canadian contributions to computing? How
much information about the achievements of the Canadian computer and
information industries is part of our culture?