Museum calls on industry to help celebrate IT heritage
Donate your time, cash or old kit
The UK's Museum of Computing, a not-for-profit organisation with links to the Science Museum and the Bletchley Park Trust, the British Computer Society and the University of Bath, is seeking help from IT companies around the world to draw up its ongoing exhibition programme.
Founded in 2000, the Museum of Computing is the only museum dedicated to computing in the UK. It's located within the University of Bath's extra mural Oakfield campus in Swindon and opened its doors to the public earlier this year. Admission is free of charge.
The Museum's goal is not to become home to a permanent collection of its own, but to provide a new location for other organisations to showcase their collections, and to become an educational centre for schools. Its first exhibition is dedicated to the work of the codebreakers of Bletchley Park and the creation of the world's first programmable computer, Colossus, used to crack German ciphers.
The Bletchley Park exhibition comes to a close on 15 May. Later this month, the Museum will open its home computing display, which charts the sector's history from the late 1970s onwards and features over 40 exhibits include some 8-bit blasts from the past, like the Oric, Jupiter Ace, Atari 400, Texas Instruments TI99/4A and many others.
But what next? That's where the Museum is looking for help. The Museum is looking to host exhibitions that celebrate major technological breakthroughs and the people behind them. It is also hoping to organise presentations exploring the contribution of British computer and telecommunications companies. Displays of computer hardware and software are also part of the plan.
"We want to encourage today's generation that has never seen such machines to celebrate their heritage and take pride in great British pioneers and their achievements," said Museum chairman and founder Jeremy Holt. "By showing the major leaps in technology over the last 70 years, we hope to stimulate the creative thinking of today's engineers, programmers and visionaries."
Tomorrow's too, we hope.
To that end, the Museum is calling on IT organisations to suggest exhibitions for its ongoing programme and opportunities to mark technological breakthroughs, old and new.
And - let's not beat about the bush here - the Museum wants to hear from philanthropic corporate grands fromage willing to put their money where their mouth is.
"If this concept is taken up by companies and individuals proud of their work, and it captures the imagination of the IT community as well as the general public, there is no telling where it may lead," said Holt. ®