Computer Museums - fun for the whole family
By imrdkl in Culture
Sat Feb 09, 2002 at 05:50:34 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Who will remember computers?
An historical perspective of computers, outside of a written or
pictorial perspective, takes one thing in particular.
Space. Lots of space. This article will give you an overview of
a few of the larger and best endowed Computer and Technology museums
around the world, along with a couple of local efforts.
Preserving the history of computing is the challenge that is faced
by a growing number of computer museums, and meeting the challenge
takes interest, time, money, and lots of space.
As I was researching this note, I found that quite a large number of these
real working museums have closed, or moved. My supposition is that the
space required is simply too expensive, for the audience (thus donations)
which are received
What is left, primarily, are web-based Virtual Museums by the dozens, where
photographs and historical notes aplenty can be found. I haven't included
these virtual museums, but I am certainly interested in linkage which you
think is interesting. More interesing, perhaps, are links to real computer/tech
museums which aren't listed here.
US - Mostly California
- Computer Museum History Center
Computer Museum History Center, located in Mt. View, CA, is a
very well-endowed museum, with more than 3000 artifacts. Established
in 1996, with the help and artifacts which were formerly located at
Computer Museum in Boston, MA,
has plans to relocate in
Moffett Field, as part
of the proposed NASA Research Park.
Current exhibits at the Computer Museum History Center include
A History of the Internet: 1962-1992 as well as
Microprocessor Evolution: 1971-1996. Their
Apollo Guidance Computer among many thousands of offerings.
- Computer Museum of America
Computer Museum of America
in San Diego has a nice collection of interesting items, including a
Royal Precision Vacuum Tube Computer
of which they are quite proud. They have also recently obtained an
Brunsviga Midget calculator, a curious little beast indeed.
- The Tech - San Jose
While not formally a computer museum, the
Tech Museum of Innovation in lovely, warm Downtown
San Jose, CA, has a large and quite diversified exhibit of computers, and plenty of other cool
stuff to hold the interest of children and adults alike. The Tech is primarily a "Hands On" museum,
which makes it great fun and a learning experience for children in science and technology.
Current exhibits include
The Science of Sport, in the spirit of the Olympics, and their
continue to expand.
- UC Davis - Computer Science Museum
At the UC Davis, also in California, one can find their
Computer Science Museum
in the Engineering building (possibly relocated by now), with a small
- American Computer Museum - Compuseum
And dont forget the
American Computer Museum - Compuseum, located in lovely Bozeman, MO,
this little museum seems like a nice, local effort to put together a
collection of various artifacts which
illustrate even the earliest history of information exchange.
- Computer Museum at Bletchley Park
Computer Museum at Bletchley Park, in affiliation with the
Station X, proudly claims the honor of being the location
where German WWII codes were broken, and houses a number of relics, including plenty of information
and hardware which was used by none other than
Alan Turing himeslf.
- Computer Museum - University of Amsterdam
In Amsterdam, if you can tear yourself away from other distractions, you'll find the
Computer Museum, University of Amsterdam
collection of artifacts,
analog systems such as the EAI 680.
I should state in closing that I have personally only visited one (1) of these fine institutions,
that being The Tech in San Jose. If you have been to any of the others, please consider sharing