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Geoffrey D. Austrian research notes on Herman Hollerith

1860-1990 Majority of material found within 1890-1929
 Collection
Identifier: 2353

Abstract

Geoffrey David Austrian (1930-) is an author and journalist. He 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 (IBM), the firm that grew out of Hollerith's invention. This collections includes the research materials Austrian used to write the book 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.

Dates

  • 1860-1990
  • Majority of material found within 1890-1929

Creator

Extent

4 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Geoffrey David Austrian (1930-) is an author and journalist. He graduated from Harvard College in 1953 and attended Cornell Law School. Austrian was born on March 31, 1930. He worked at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) as the Manager of Public Relations. Prior to his career at IBM, he was a reporter for The Record in Hackensack, New Jersey in 1957 to 1959.

He first became interested in the life of Herman Hollerith (1860-1929), inventor of the puched-card system of data processing, while working for IBM, 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.

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.

Scope and Content

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.

The collection is arranged into three series: Biography note cards; Backup research files; and Other research files.

Biography note cards are 3" x 5" note cards of Austrian’s research notes arranged chronologically.

Backup research files 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.

Other research files 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.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for search.

Materials located in remote storage. Advance notice is required. Please allow 48 hours for delivery.

Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

Geoffrey D. Austrian, 2006

Separated Material

Geoffrey D. Austrian audio recordings on Herman Hollerith (Accession 2007.210), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Geoffrey D. Austrian research notes on Herman Hollerith
Status:
Online
Author:
Jason Sylvestre
Date:
2007
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400