This small archive is principally concerned with two periods of Wiseman’s career: the 1960s when he was Chief Engineer in the Mathematical Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and the late 1970s to early 1980s when was involved in a great range of computer consultancy work. It covers the period 1959-2002.
Biographical material is slight consisting solely of items printed from the web: photograph, appreciation by Peter Robinson at Neil Wiseman’s funeral on 26 June 1995, bibliography and 'Neil Wiseman Memorial Fund’. University Mathematical Laboratory (UML), Cambridge, papers comprise the largest component of the collection. They document Wiseman’s research and involvement in a range of UML activities including tunnel diode work, Titan computer project, computer stores, data-links, computer aided design, computer graphics, text editors, television camera for the PDP-7 mini-computer and Diploma course. The documentation includes correspondence, notes, drafts, programs, data, specifications, circuit diagrams, technical memoranda, reports, and product literature. Colleagues represented in correspondence and as authors of memoranda and reports include D.W. Barron, W.S. Elliott, D.F. Hartley, G.B. Herzog 'Visiting from R.C.A.’, R.M. Needham, C.R. Spooner, H.P.F. Swinnerton-Dyer, D.J. Wheeler and M.V. Wilkes. Companies involved in computer developments are also represented including Elliott Brothers Ltd, Ferranti Ltd and Plessey Company Ltd.
Records of Wiseman’s lectures and publications covers a period of just eleven years, 1963-1974 and, including only two publications, are hardly comprehensive in respect of the period covered. There are, however, notes of a small number of research talks given in Cambridge, 1963-1964, and a record of Wiseman’s contribution to a course on computer engineering at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology, 1966-1967. Likewise, visits and conferences records cover a relatively short period, 1962-1967. Thirteen visits and conferences are documented including four visits to the USA and conferences in the UK organised by the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institution of Electronic and Radio Engineers.
Societies and organisations material is slight with documentation of just four organisations with which Wiseman was associated. The most substantial body of material, committee papers and reports, relates to the Radio Components Research and Development (RCRD) Sub-committee 15: computer elements, which he joined in 1961, and which was wound up in 1965. The sponsoring ministry appears to have been the Air Ministry while the committee secretary was based at the Royal Radar Establishment, Malvern, Worcestershire. Records of Wiseman’s consultancy activities comprise two components. The first provides some documentation, 1973-1978, of Wiseman’s association with Graphical Software Ltd run by W.S. Elliott, Professor of Computing at Imperial College and a former Cambridge colleague. The second, much more substantial component, documents Wiseman’s own company Fendragon Ltd from its foundation in 1977 to 1983. There are correspondence and papers relating to the founding and running of the company, client files and reports. Among the clients are small computer and electronics companies as well as major national organisations.
Wiseman’s correspondence is interesting though not extensive. It is the contents of an untitled folder, which comprised correspondence relating to career, research, patents, publications, equipment, speaking engagements, etc December 1959-1963 and documents relating to patents 1964 and 1969, found with the earlier correspondence.