5 Decades of Computing at the University of York

For the University of York 50th Anniversary celebrations in the summer of 2013, the University's Special Collections Librarian asked me to put together a display illustrating five decades of computing at the University.

Sadly we could find no remnants of two Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-10 computers once the mainstay of the University Computing Service, let alone their first computer, an Elliot 4130. That was probably just as well, as we were very limited in space. We chose a selection of smaller artefacts from my personal collection, and eventually reduced that to what would fit in a single display cabinet.

The original plan for the key was a life-size (A0) colour poster - shown below - but we also numbered each item and prepared an A4 leaflet, which you can see on the top of the cabinet. Amazingly, we never had to replace it. I had to seriously curtail the descriptions to fit on the poster, as you can see below.

Here are photos of the display and the key. (By the way, hardly anyone identified the two "mystery tools".)
Click on each small picture to see the full version (WARNING: the photos are quite large).

The first mockup of the display on my floor
first mockup of display

Mockup edited to create the key
edited mockup of display

I made the key into this life-size poster to go on the wall behind the cabinet
poster - key for display

Here is the final display
display cabinet

And here is a view of the display in the cabinet, with a printed key
display in cabinet


Copyright Pete Turnbull 2013-1016