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Amherst College Academic Computer Center Records

 Collection
Identifier: RG 015-001

Scope and Contents

Newsletters, manuals, grant proposals, minutes, correspondence and other documents related to the operations of the Amherst College Academic Computer Center, under the direction of Betty Romer. Includes files on the planning, design and construction of the Seeley-Mudd Building, 1980-1984, which housed many of the offices of the department of Information Technology.

Dates

  • 1970-1998
  • Majority of material found within 1972 - 1985

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Access to portions of the records, as indicated in this finding aid, is restricted to the office of origin for a period of 50 years.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the records should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

The Academic Computer Center (later known as Academic Computing under the department of Information Technology) served the computational needs of faculty and students of Amherst College to support teaching and research. In 1977 it was located in Converse Hall under the direction of Paul J. Plourde, with Betty Steele acting as Academic Coordinator. Its operations were led by these administrators under the guidance of a Faculty Computer Committee, which in 1977 consisted of Peter Czap, Stephen George, Robert Grose, Charles Staelin and Alan Waggoner. The Center was staffed completely by student supervisors during its operating hours. These students were qualified to consult with users, write programs and maintain the operation of the system. The academic computer in use in 1977 was an IBM 1130 (16K), with a card reader, printer, plotter and two disk drives. Programming languages supported at that time were FORTRAN IV and 1130 Assembler. Faculty and students could also do timesharing with the CYPBER 74 mainframe computer located at the University of Massachusetts, connecting through a number of terminals on the Amherst campus. The college acquired a Digital VAX 11/780 computer in 1979. From that point on, academic computing at Amherst, as elsewhere, increasingly expanded into the curriculum of the college. The Academic Computer Center moved to the Seeley Mudd building in 1984.

Extent

1.5 Linear feet (1 archives box, 1 records storage box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Newsletters, manuals, grant proposals, minutes, correspondence and other documents related to the operations of the Amherst College Academic Computer Center, under the direction of Betty Romer. Includes files on the planning, design and construction of the Seeley-Mudd Building, 1980-1984, which has housed many of the offices of the department of Information Technology.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into five series:
  1. Series 1: Newsletters, 1977-1999
  2. Series 2: Manuals, 1970-1985
  3. Series 3: Seeley Mudd Building Project, 1980-1984
  4. Series 4: Faculty Computer Committee, 1978-1982
  5. Series 5: General Administrative Files, 1973-1994 [ACCESS RESTRICTED]

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to Archives and Special Collections, September 2012.

Related Materials

  • Computer Center Office Files, ca. 1968-1972 (acc. #79-011)
  • Computer Application Study, 1966 (acc. #78-032)
  • General Files -- see subject headings Academic Computing; Computing; Technology
Status
Completed
Author
Peter A. Nelson
Date
2013
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299