The Digital Virtual Museum, June 2022
We were contacted by Sandy Mackenzie, a former Digital salesperson who is working with a museum in Reading, U.K. to provide exhibits in honor of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the Reading, U.K. facility, which once employed over 5000. Here is the list of resources we provided to assist in their efforts.
In the U.S., there are only a couple museums we're aware of. But there are some other sources of potential exhibit material we can suggest. We in DEC Connection are just 4 former employees keeping up our network - we have no real estate or space for a museum. But here's what we are aware of:
- The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California - this is about the entire industry, not just Digital. These days it skews heavily to software, obviously, but the original DEC museum (in MRO1 Lobby) put together by Gwen Bell went to them. Then to Boston. Then moved to CA.
- Ken Olsen's beneficiary was Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. He was on their board of directors and donated a new Science Building and all his papers. In 2019, Gordon College transferred all the collected papers to Harvard Business School Baker Library (press release). Here is the link on our website to actual material. Gordon College probably still has hardware and documentation they don't know what to do with. We have a contact there, Dan Tymann, VP of Development.
- Part of this Gordon College activity was a collaboration with PBS that created an hour-long documentary about Digital and Ken called Digital Man/Digital World. It's still online at link below.
On our website here are several photos of the Olsen building lobby exhibit, called the Loggia of Technology, and recordings of speeches given in 2008 at Gordon College's Science Building dedication. You may know one of our speakers on that occasion, Rod Sutherland, a talented and enthusiastic DEC Connection member who I'm betting has been to Reading on a number of occasions.
- The Town of Maynard has just erected signage that is permanently installed in front of the Maynard Mill. They have also added small exhibits about Digital in the Maynard Library. No computers, just other stuff. Here is a link to the signage exhibit, part of the Town of Maynard's 150th Anniversary celebration. One panel is dedicated to Digital. DEC Connection made a contribution toward its completion. The contact in their Library is Jeremy Robichaud. Jeremy Robichaud is Head of Reference Services at the Maynard Public Library: 978-897-1010 x103 email@example.com and www.maynardpubliclibrary.org
- There is an historian in Maynard named David Mark. He has written 11 articles about the history of Maynard Mill and Digital. Here is another link, to David's talk at the Library. 1 1/2 hours! firstname.lastname@example.org is his email address - I bet he'd give you permission to incorporate his materials in some manner.
- We have a member, Alan Earls, who has written a book about Digital. You can see it on our publications page.
- there are many DEC marketing videos on product introductions, etc. David Price has 65 loaded onto You Tube. Also the 40th Anniversary video and DECworld88 and DECville85 on this page.
- The Rhode Island Computer Museum has a very large collection of DEC equipment. http://www.ricomputermuseum.org See equipment list under Large Systems. They have restored a PDP-9 with a TC59/TU20 among others. Contacts: email@example.com
Dan Berman, RICM Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, (401) 741-6997
- There are a number of hobbyists who built small systems and workstations, no doubt still running up a storm.
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