CSIRAC Collection

John Spencer with CSIRAC, 1999

Image: John Spencer with CSIRAC, 1999

Source: Museum Victoria

The CSIRAC Computer collection consists of over 300 objects, over 300 images and over 1000 documents relating to the CSIRAC computer.

CSIRAC, designed and built in Australia, was the first stored-memory electronic computer in Australia. Its first home was CSIR (after 1949 called CSIRO) Radiophysics Laboratory in Sydney. The first program was run in 1949 and the machine was in full operation by 1951. It embodied many features novel at the time and was able to operate more than 1000 times faster than the best mechanical calculators. In 1955 the computer was transferred to the University of Melbourne where renamed CSIRAC it continued in operation until November 1964. The machine was donated to the Applied Science Museum of Victoria by the University of Melbourne.

The CSIRAC hardware is complete. It includes cabinets, paper tape reading, writing and editing equipment, control console, test equipment, disk drive and miscellaneous components

The archival material retained when CSIRAC was decommissioned by the University in 1964 was preserved.  In 1996, the University established the CSIRAC History Project which resulted in the collection and cataloguing of documents, artefacts and images relating to CSIRAC.

The CSIRAC Archive contains material documenting the computer from its conception in the late 1940s to its decommissioning in 1964. Consisting of nine folders, 18 Archive boxes and one large box of paper tapes, it contains:
* 458 paper tape reels comprising CSIRAC's complete software library
* CDs containing programs read from paper tapes
* program documentation
* programming manuals produced at various stages of CSIRAC's life
* documents relating to courses, annual reports, plans for the Laboratory, staff information, published papers and reports, and correspondence
* original photographs and footage
* oral histories
* engineering drawings, most of which have also been scanned
* miscellaneous objects, including a metal commemorative plaque.

A number of items have also been collected by the Museum.

 

Items per page: 10 50 (showing 1 - 50) 224 items

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