History of Computing Collection: University of London Institute of Computer Science Collection

Scope and Content

The Collection comprises internal manuals and guides produced for hardware and software used by the ICS.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Institute of Computer Science was set up by the University of London in the 1950s and was originally known as the University of London Computer Unit. The Institute performed several functions including teaching and research in computer science, as well as providing computing services to the University and its member bodies. For most of its existence it was headed by Professor Richard Buckingham (1913-1994).

As a computing service for the University, the ICS used an Atlas computer, and achieved several innovative applications for research. The Institute also ran networking services including the UK Arpanet node and Remote Job Entry (RJE) to an IBM machine at the Rutherford Laboratory, Harwell. By the early 1970s, the University of London Computer Centre, a regional computer consortium, was running parallel services and the decision was taken to close the Institute in 1974, whereupon staff and services were transferred to other sites at the University of London.


Follows the original NAHC alphabetic code system: all items fall within the C series designation (manuals and guides)

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018. The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for archiving and research purposes according to the provisions of the Act. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History



None expected (any new material will be offered to the University of London Library's Special Collections.

Related Material

The Institute's archive forms part of the University of London's institutional archives, and includes manuals and publications. These are held at Senate House Library (Ref: UoL/CM) .

Geographical Names