Archives of IT: Oral Histories of IT and tech

Online Resource
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Scope and Content

AIT's online resource is a website that contains oral history interviews and transcripts, digitised publications, (including magazines, annual reports and films) blogs on IT themes, and reports from independent academic research projects using the archive. A selection of external blogs and other online databases of information about the IT industry are linked to from this resource as well as lesson plans and other tools for teachers.

Oral history interviews have been (and continue to be) recorded with leading figures from the anglophone IT industry. Interviewees are scientists, policymakers, business people and users of technology. Examples include:

External databases linked from the website includes the INPUT iCenter, created by founder Peter Cunningham. INPUT (1975-2000) were leading software and services market researchers of their time with great influence in the IT Industry. Peter Cunningham has contributed an oral history interview.

Significant publications available online include reports from the Butler Cox Foundation (1977-1991) and System House magazine (1990-2008). Butler Cox PLC (originally Butler Cox and Partners Ltd) was an independent consulting and research company formed in 1977 by David Butler and George Cox along with five colleagues, specialising in the strategic application of information technology. The Foundation was its research service and was influential on UK government policy. System House was a review magazine published monthly by leading IT Analyst Richard Holway MBE, about the financial performance of the UK computing services industry in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Richard Holway , Sir George Cox and David Butler have contributed oral history interviews to the website.

In films, one example is Sir Desmond Pitcher's 1974/75 Faraday Lecture 'The Social Computer' , in which he predicted the many future developments of the IT industry. Sir Desmond's oral history interview is also in this resource.

As part of its charitable aims, AIT works to promote the IT Industry as a career to students and offers teacher tools including careers advice for students and lesson plans for primary school pupils at Key Stage 1 and 2. It shares the history of IT to the general public and researchers, producing occasional webinars and other blogs and publications. A recent example is a presentation on the history of the internet by one of the fathers of the internet Vint Cerf.

Administrative / Biographical History

Archives of IT (AIT) was founded in 2015 by IT executive and entrepreneur Roger Graham OBE and is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales on 2 November 2015 , no. 1164198.

The archive is web based and brings together important historical information about the development of the IT Industry in the UK, which cannot be found anywhere else and would otherwise be lost.

To achieve this, AIT conducts oral interviews with leading members of the IT industry from the 1950s onwards in video and audio. Interviews are transcribed and both the interview and transcription are made available for research on their online resource website. The interviews are complemented with company reports and other media, donated by participants and supporters.

Access Information

Anyone may view the contents of the online resource on screen and use it for information purposes.

Note

This is a description of an online resource . Online Resources are websites that describe, interpret and provide access to archives. They often provide access to digital content but they may also describe physical materials. They usually cover a theme or topic, such as an individual, a movement, or an important historical event.

Other Finding Aids

Access this resource online: https://archivesit.org.uk/

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Researchers need to have access to the internet and an internet browser to be able to use this online resource.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials (including text and images) on the site are the copyright of AIT or third parties. Anyone may reproduce reasonable extracts from the site for their personal use or private study and save a copy of them on their local hard disk for their personal use or private study only. Resources for teachers may be used, adapted and shared by educational establishments for non-commercial purposes in the normal course of operations e.g. by teachers in classrooms.
For further information, please see our Terms and Conditions page at https://archivesit.org.uk/terms/ .

Bibliography

Ahmed, Sophia. 60 years of progress for women in Tech. Available at: https://archivesit.org.uk/60-years-of-progress-for-women-in-tech/ (Accessed 21 December 2022).

Blaxland, Sam. The Archives of Information Technology: More Than Just Computers. Available at: https://archivesit.org.uk/the-archives-of-information-technology-more-than-just-computers/ (Accessed 21 December 2022).

Li, Yuequi. The UK IT Industry after World War II: The National Research and Development Corporation. (NRDC) Available at https://archivesit.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Final-Report-Yueqi-Li-.pdf (Accessed 21 December 2022).

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