The collection is miscellaneous, but primarily relates to the early years of the University of Manchester computing team, of which Edwards was an important member.
Edwards’ papers relate to his wide-ranging interests in the history of computing, but particularly to his work at Manchester. The documents are a mixture of original documents, recollections and material collected by Edwards which relate to Manchester computing.
The focus of the collection is the Mark I and Ferranti Mark I computers, including instruction sets, a diagram of the Mark I console and inspection routines. Also included are Edwards’ notes from his original notebook for his work on the SSEM and Mark I computers in 1948/9 (the original has since been destroyed). There are also documents relating to the Atlas and MU5 (in which Edwards played a key part in designing hardware).
Edwards also collected material which he considered had more general significance including three letters of Alan Turing relating to Mersenne numbers, and an exchange of correspondence between Tom Kilburn and Sara Turing (Turing mother) about her son’s contributions to computing at Manchester. There are also documents relating to the ICL dispute (covered in MUC/5). There are also numerous photographs including those of successive SSEM/’Baby’ reunions, copies of Mark I photographs, the Atlas, MU5, and various events at the Department of Computing Science.