History of Computing Collection: International Computers Ltd (ICL) Collection

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 NAHC/ICL
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      10 boxes
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

The collection includes copies of some early documents relating to proto- and early computing technology, and histories of ICL and predecessor firms (ICL/A), plus a substantial collection of working papers and reports (ICL/C) relating to ICL projects and products, dating from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Administrative / Biographical History

ICL was founded in 1968 under the Wilson Labour Government in the Industrial Expansion Act as part of its industrial rationalisation programme, in order to create an international presence in computers. The formation of ICL was the culmination of a series of mergers and acquisitions during the late 1950s and 1960s which brought together the two strands of punched-card equipment manufacturers and general electrical equipment manufacturers, both of which were diversifying into computers. The immediate merger brought together International Computers and Tabulators Ltd (ICT), and English Electric Computers. Later, Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) became the parent company.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Mr John M. Chapman, and Manchester University Department of Computer Science.


See, Martin Campbell-Kelly, ICL Company Research and Development, (2 parts), ICL Technical Journal, 5,6 (1986, 1988); Martin Campbell-Kelly, ICL: A Business and Technical History (Oxford University Press, 1990) and Tim Kelly, The British Computer Industry (London: Croom Helm, 1987).

Geographical Names