History of Computing Collection

This archive of Swansea University Library contains equipment, software, archives, ephemera, oral histories, and videos.
… see …

The first HCI paper

Brian Shackel, (1959). Ergonomics for a computer. Design, 120, 36-39. full paper

Alvey Programme

The Man–Machine Interface (sic) theme of the Alvey programme was critical in the development of HCI in the UK.

Department of Trade and Industry: The Alvey Programme for Advanced Information Technology. The National Audit Office. 1988. full report

Brian Oakley and Kenneth Owen, Alvey: Britain’s Strategic Computing Initiative, MIT Press, 1990. ISBN: 0-262-15038-7

Articles and books about HCI history

HCI Bibliography : History – collection of web sites and documents about the history of HCI. see collection

Jonathan Grudin. A History of Human Computer Interaction. Interactions – Blogs. March 24, 2017. see blog

Jonathan Grudin. From Tool to Partner: The Evolution of Human-Computer Interaction. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics. January 2017. DOI: 10.2200/S00745ED1V01Y201612HCI035

Ben Shneiderman. Encounters with HCI Pioneers: A Personal History and Photo Journal. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics. February 2019. DOI: 10.2200/S00889ED1V01Y201812HCI041

John Carroll. Human Computer Interaction – brief intro. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.. full article

Rachel Benedyk talks to Dominic Furness. The origins and survival of Ergonomics at HCI: a personal view. Interfaces, 82:8–13, 2010. full article

Myers, Brad. (1998). A Brief History of Human Computer Interaction Technology. Interactions. 5. 44–54. full article

John Knight, Tom McEwan, Alan Dix (2019). Digital Design – Secret Histories and Hidden Practices, Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019 (ADIM 2019), 18-21 July 2019, London. abstract and links | ADIM conference site

A. Dix. (2016). Human Computer Interaction, foundations and new paradigms. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, special issue in Honour of Stefano Levialdi, 42:122-134.
DOI : 10.1016/j.jvlc.2016.04.001abstract and draft paper

Ronald Baecker (2008). Themes in the early history of HCI — some unanswered questions. In Interactions, 15 (2) pp. 22-27. DOI: 10.1145/1340961.1340968.

A Brief History of the Latin American HCI Community. Sane Gaytan SIGCHI Medium Channel. 12 July 2020.

A brief history of human-centred design – visual overview focused on participatory design, design thinking, service design.

David Parisi (2018). Archaeologies of Touch – Interfacing with Haptics from Electricity to Computing. University of Minnesota Press. more info

Matthias Rauterberg (2002). History of HCI

Broader computing history

IFIP WG9.7 on History of Computing. International group organises events and other activities to “preserve the records and artifacts of information processing inventions, practices, and activities throughout the world

Computers and Computer People, 1950s-1990s. Royal Society workshop, March 2021 that brought together experts in computing and the history of computing for a wide-ranging series of talks on the IT industry in the UK, 1950-2000 including the Manchester Baby, LEO, transputers and the history of IBM software.

History of Computing – IFIP Working Group 9.7. “We study the history of computing and informatics with a view to providing the impetus to preserve the records and artifacts of information processing inventions, practices, and activities throughout the world …”

The early days of home computing – in pictures. Kadish Morris, The Guardian, 11 Apr 2020. – Pictorial review of Alex Wiltshire and John Short (2020). Home Computers: 100 Icons that Defined a Digital Generation. Thames & Hudson.

Breakthrough of Digital Culture: Finland accepts the Demoscene on its national UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Art of Coding Team. 15. April 2020

The Computer Sheds hold the Jim Austin Computer Collection, over 1500 computers and many thousands of other artifacts such as books, calculators, spares, test equipment as well as a fine collection of Radios and Valves (the RadioShed)

A History of Women in British Telecommunications. Special Issue of the journal Information & Culture. Timeline, brief biographies, etc. by Jeremy Norman, Exploring the History of Information and Media through Timelines

Computing the Human Experience a transmedia documentary by Grady Booch

Abstractions and Embodiments – New Histories of Computing and Society. Edited by Janet Abbate and Stephanie Dick. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2022

Unseen images of code breaking computer that helped win WW2. BBC News article (18 Jan 2024) about GCHQ’s release of photos and other artefacts relating to Colossus.

More Classic HCI

Ivan Edward Sutherland (1963). Sketchpad: A man-machine graphical communication system. PhD Thesis. MIT, January 1963. (Reproduced as Cambridge Computing Laboratory Technical Report, UCAM-CL-TR-574)

Twitter thread below about the origins of HJKL cursor movement keys in vi/vim. Wordstar used ESDX and close keys for up, left, right, down using natural layout.