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Research notes on Herman Hollerith
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Research notes on Herman Hollerith

Accession 2353

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Jason Sylvestre, 2007

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-21T15:58-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Research notes on Herman Hollerith (Accession 2353), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Research notes on Herman Hollerith
Dates: 1860-1990, bulk 1890-1929
Accession Number: 2353
Creator: Austrian, Geoffrey D.
Extent: 4 linear feet
Language of Material: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Russian
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: This collections includes the research materials Geoffrey Austrian used to write Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant of Information Processing. Austrian's research includes notes from interviews with Hollerith family members and copies of materials from the IBM archives and other repositories, including the New York Public Library.
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Administrative Information


Provenance

Gift of Geoffrey D. Austrian, 2006

Access Restrictions

This accession is located in off-site storage. Advance notice is required. Please allow 48 hours for delivery.

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Biographical Note

Geoffrey David Austrian was born on March 31, 1930. Austrian first became interested in the life of Herman Hollerith (1860-1929), inventor of the puched-card system of data processing, while working for the International Business Machines Corporation, the firm that grew out of Hollerith's invention. Austrian stumbled across Hollerith's name during a search for background information for IBM Day in 1964. It was not until 1968, after a chance meeting with a member of the Hollerith family that Austrian began to formulate his ideas for a book. With the support of IBM, Austrian began work on his book in 1972. Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant of Information Processing was published by the Columbia University Press in 1982. Austrian has published three other books: The Truth about Drugs, 1971; Dark deeds: At the U.S. Naval Observatory, They Make it their Nightly Business to Track Heavenly Bodies, 1983; and " Ben Austrian, Artist," 1997.

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Scope and Content

This collection includes the research materials Geoffrey Austrian used to write Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant of Information Processing. Austrian's research includes notes from interviews with Hollerith family members and copies of materials from the IBM archives and other repositories, including the New York Public Library.

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Arrangement

Austrian filed his research notes in two formats, the first on 3x5 cards, arranged chronologically. The remainder of the notes are arranged alphabetically by subject. The folder titles are those originally given by Austrian.

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Separated Material

Cassette tapes of Austrian’s interviews were removed and sent to the Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department. They are located in Pictorial Accession 2007.210.

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Access Points

Hollerith, Herman, 1860-1929
International Business Machines Corporation.
Inventors.
Peirce, J. Royden
Punched card systems.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
Tabulating machines
Thayer, Horace B.
Western Electric Company
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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Biography Note Cards, 1860-1929
1.5 linear feet
Scope and Content
3" x 5" note cards of Austrian’s research notes arranged chronologically
Box Folder
1 1 1860-1911
Box Folder
2 1 1912-1929
II. Backup Research Files
2.0 linear feet
Scope and Content
Constitutes the majority of Austrian’s research on the life and work of Herman Hollerith. It contains notable items such as correspondence with Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. The research notes come from the papers of Herman Hollerith in the Library of Congress, and collections at the archives of Harvard University, IBM, the National Records Center, the Taft-Peirce Manufacturing Co., the National Archives, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Western Electric Co.
File folders are labeled by subject and arranged alphabetically.
Box Folder
2 2 Auditing Machine Co (see also railroads)
2 3 Billings, Dr. John Shaw
2 4 Blodgett, John
2 5 Bibliographies and other Sources, 1960s-1970s
2 6 George M. Bond
2 7 Bontecou Letters, 1908
2 8 British Company
2 9 Census, 1890
2 10 Census, 1900
2 11 Census, 1910
2 12 Census Director Reports
2 13 Census Bureau Present Machines
2 14 Census Contracts Dispute W. North
2 15 Census History, 1903
2 16 Census Lawsuit, 1909-1912
2 17 Committee Hearings
2 18 Computing Tabulating Recording Co
2 19 Contracts with Customers (tabulating machine co.), 1903
2 20 Dalys File machine blueprints
2 21 Durand
2 22 Edison
2 23 Flad, Henry
2 24 Flint, Charles R.
2 25 Ford, Eugene A.
2 26 Early Family History
2 27 French Company
2 28 Hollerith Background
2 29 Hollerith Bio sketches
2 30 Hollerith Letters
2 31 Hollerith Source Material
2 32 Hollerith Book, New Materials & Valuable Documents
2 33 Holley Manuscript
Box Folder
3 1 IBM history, Watson, Williams bios
3 2 IBM History Early Investors
3 3 IBM inventors
3 4 IBM World Trade History
3 5 International Computer Use
3 6 Interviews
3 7 Japan
3 8 Lanston
3 9 Lawsuit Tabulating Co vs Durand, 1910
3 10 Letters from abroad
3 11 Library Bureau, 1898-1899
3 12 Machine Development & Significance
3 13 Merriam/Hollerith
3 14 MIT Boston
3 15 New Material
3 16 NY Public Library Research
3 17 Noble, David E.
3 18 North, Simon Newton Dexter
3 19 Paris Exposition, 1889
3 20 Patents
3 21 Perkins, Ed / New Material
3 22 Pidgin Mass Census
3 23 Pierce, J. Royden
3 24 Porter, R. P
3 25 Powers Pierce Competition
3 26 Paris Exposition, 1889
3 27 Queries
3 28 Railroads
3 29 Roosevelt, Theodore, 1905-1909
3 30 Russian Census
3 31 Swain, George F.
3 32 Tabulating Machine Co Formation, 1896-1897
3 33 Taft-Peirce
Box Folder
4 1 Talcott Letters
4 2 Taylor, Frederick W.
4 3 Thayer, H. B. Letters
4 4 Translation
4 5 Unexamined Source Material
4 6 Unprocessed Material
4 7 Watson Correspondence
4 8 Western Electric Co.
4 9 Carroll D. Wright
III. Other Research Files
0.5 linear feet
Scope and Content
Contains materials that were not specifically identified by Austrian as being either biography note cards or backup research files. Series includes correspondence about the progress of Herman Hollerith, material removed from a binder, photographs of Herman Hollerith, his family, and his designs, as well as additional miscellaneous material.
Box Folder
4 11 701
4 12 Austrian Correspondence
4 13 Articles written about Herman Hollerith
4 14 Black Binder
4 15 The Computer Museum Exhibit
4 16 Early Commercial applications
4 17 Electronic Computing History
4 18 Hollerith Articles
4 19 Hollerith Materials from Work
4 20 Hollerith Collections
4 21 Hollerith Photographs
4 22 Miscellaneous