The Lavington papers, like those of Dai Edwards, document particular episodes in the history of Manchester Department of Computing Science, and include a mixture of original documents, copies of documents and notes made at a later date by Lavington. The Atlas and MU5 computers are particularly well-covered in the collection, with a number of photographs as well as original documents. There is in fact considerable overlap with the Dai Edwards papers in terms of subject matter, including documents relating to the golden jubilee of the SSEM/Baby computer. The collection also includes Lavington correspondence between 1972 and 1986, which covers the period when he was beginning the historical study of British computing.
The Lavington papers have been treated as a sub-section of the main Department of Computer Science collection, because the contents primarily relate to the Department and its work in developing mainframe computers in the post-war period, they mainly cover the history of stored-program computing at Manchester University and the spin-off industrial developments in the Manchester region that led to the Ferranti Mark I, Mark I*, Mercury and Atlas computers. Other subjects covered include Cathode Ray Tube storage patent litigation, NRDC’s activities and associated American developments; correspondence relating to Alan Turing; the growth of the Department of Computer Science at Manchester; Simon Lavington’s correspondence with computer pioneers; anniversaries of the SSEM (Baby) and Atlas computers.
Probably the greatest amount of material relates to the Atlas computer, although there is also material on the MU5, with which Lavington was associated and the Mercury.