The Information Technology Corporate Histories Project is supported by a $460,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The grant proposal was developed jointly by the Charles Babbage Foundation, the Computer History Museum, and the Software History Center. The project is managed by the Computer History Museum.
The objectives of the project are to:
The source materials being collected are:
- Create and preserve a database of historical source materials for approximately forty information technology companies using the Internet as a primary means of collecting the materials and providing access to them.
- Develop a blueprint for using the Internet to collect and provide access to corporate historical source materials which can be used by other companies in the IT industry and in other industries.
Personal recollections are:
- Personal recollections of the company's founder(s), employees, and others affiliated with the company, about people and events that influenced the company's evolution.
- Documents of all kinds produced by, for or about the company, including images.
Company-related documents are:
- Stories about the company, descriptions of events, and comments submitted by volunteer contributors through the project's website. The website provides a means for contributors to add stories to the database, comment on stories submitted by others, and engage in discussions with other contributors.
- Oral histories, interviews, and memoirs done either in conjunction with the project or under other auspices.
- Donated to the project by participants from their personal files or by the company in question, if it is still extant, in either digital form or hard copy.
- Incorporated into the database and made accessible through the website, if in digital form, or added as a bibliographic reference, if in hard copy.
Organization by industry sector:
- An online database of historical information for each of the companies covered in the project. The database will include:
- A chronological list of events that occurred during the life of the company or, in some cases, during a specific time period. Each event in the chronology will identify the source(s) of the information contained in the description of the event. A source will either be the personal recollection of someone affiliated with the company or a reference document.
- A collection of stories, comments and discussions contributed through the website by people affiliated with the company.
- A collection of digitized reference materials, including images.
- A bibliography of sources of information about the company. All items in the collection of reference materials will be included in the bibliography and the bibliographic reference will link to the digitized document. The bibliography will also reference materials not in the project's collection such as published articles and books, oral histories available from other sources, documents available through archival institutions, etc.
- Biographical information about the people who contributed information about the company.
- A blueprint for use in creating similar databases of historical information for other companies. This will include a detailed analysis of the technologies, skills, organization and costs involved in setting up and executing this type of history collection process.
- The companies to be covered in the project will be selected from six sectors of the IT industry with five to eight companies covered in each sector. Organizing the project by sector allows us to develop themes and topics to be explored across a group of companies and to leverage the knowledge of project staff about the issues faced by the companies they are working with.
- The project is managed by Luanne Johnson, the Principal Investigator, a senior executive with over thirty years experience managing for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in the Information Technology industry.
- Oversight and direction of the project is provided by a Management Advisory Council comprised of Jim Cortada, Charles Babbage Foundation Chair, Len Shustek, Computer History Museum Chair, and Burt Grad, former President of the Software History Center, which was acquired by the Computer History Museum on 1/1/2005.
For further information, contact Luanne Johnson at email@example.com or 1-707-748-0949.