Papers of Dr Dietrich G. Prinz

Scope and Content

Papers of and relating to the computer programmer Dietrich Prinz. The material comprises:

  • NAHC/PRI/A: Biographical and Personal Papers, 1918-1959;
  • NAHC/PRI/B: Correspondence, 1936-1948;
  • NAHC/PRI/C: Unpublished Drafts and Reports, 1948-1972;
  • NAHC/PRI/D: Published Works, 1939-1959.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Dietrich G. Prinz was born on 29 March 1903, of German-Jewish parentage. He was educated at Berlin University, where his teachers included Planck and Einstein, graduating with a D.Phil. He left Germany in 1935 with the rise of Nazism and settled in England. From 1936 he joined the Research Laboratories of the GEC Co. at Wembley, where he worked in the valve development laboratory. He was interned and sent to Canada during the Second World War, before returning to work in Leeds for the Bowen Instrument Co.

Prinz joined Ferranti's instrument department in about 1947 and became involved in the firm's work in computers. In 1948 he visited the USA to assess computer developments on behalf of Ferranti. He was closely involved in pioneering programming work on the Manchester Mark I and the early Ferranti computers. Swann [1975] described Prinz as a mainstay of the Ferranti Computer Department; to Lord Bowden he was talented and extremely modest. Most of the documents relate to Prinz's linear programming routines, c 1960-70.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Mrs. B. Jaffe (formerly Prinz), Manchester.


Description compiled with reference to: Martin Campbell-Kelly, Programming the Mark I, Annals of the History of Computing (1980); Paul Drath, The Relationship between Science and Technology: University Research and the Computer Industry 1945-1962 , (Manchester University Ph.D, 1973); Simon Lavington, Early British Computers (1980); B.B. Swann, The Ferranti Computer Department, confidential typescript history, 1975). Copy in Ferranti papers, see (Ref: GB 0133 NAHC/FER