Milestone-Proposal:Special Citation Computer History Museum

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Docket #:2014-05

This Proposal has been approved, and is now a Milestone

To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation?

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1979 to present

Title of the proposed milestone:

IEEE Special Citation Computer History Museum, 1979

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

The Computer History Museum's mission is to preserve and present for posterity the artifacts and stories of the Information Age. The museum houses the world's largest collection of computers and related software, documents, and visual media. Public exhibits celebrate the rich history of computing, aided by a speaker series, education activities, historical restorations, and research programs.

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.

IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Santa Clara Valley Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Santa Clara Valley Section
Senior Officer Name: Ed Aoki

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Santa Clara Valley Section
Senior Officer Name: Ed Aoki

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Santa Clara Valley Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Ed Aoki

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Dick Ahrons
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Computer History Museum 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd Mountain View, CA 94043

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. Computer History Museum, which is the Museum's corporate building

Are the original buildings extant?

not applicable

Details of the plaque mounting:

On the wall in the public lobby

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The plaque is secured by wall mount.

The lobby is a public area which can be entered free of charge.

The building is secure.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Computer History Museum, a non-profit corporation

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

The Computer History Museum captures the history of computers and computing. Attending the museum is a learning experience for all age groups. For the younger generation, Its exhibits and interactive programs encourage the younger generation to become computer professionals.

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images.

The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours and an award-winning education program. The Museum’s signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by "USA Today" as “the Valley’s answer to the Smithsonian.” Other current exhibits include “Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2,” “Going Places: The History of Google Maps with Street View,” “IBM 1401 Demo Lab,” and “DEC PDP-1.”

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

The major obstacles that the Museum overcame were setting up a viable corporation, securing funding, developing the extensive facility and recruiting a professional staff. Videos of it's ongoing "Revolutionaries" events are aired over PBS. Revolutionaries have aired interviews with our most notable current and past computers technologists.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

It is the largest computer history museum in the world. Also it is an extremely well used research facility for historians. See references below. Furthermore, the Museum provides education to the community through its extensive events. Videos of its ongoing "Revolutionaries" events are aired over PBS. The series has aired interviews with our most notable current and past computer technologists.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

web url, Mission web url, History (dates) web url, over 50 Press Releases

url The New York Times Review by Edward Rothstein Published: September 28, 2012

url Lauch of Revolution Exibit: “Version 2.0 of the 8-year-old Computer History Museum, scheduled to reopen to the public on Jan. 13, is the valley's answer to the Smithsonian.”, Jon Swartz, USA TODAY, December 8, 2010

url Core Magazine – a publication of the Computer History Museum

url Revolutionaries Series – CHM’s accaimed speaker series Season 1&2 Season 3:

url Babbage Engine Online Exhibit:

url IBM 1401 Demo Lab:

url Oral History Collection – over 600 generated by CHM staff

url CHM elected Fellows

The Behind the Scenes History of the Computer History Museum – Complete Playlist

Computer History Museum Celebrates 35 Years

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

Photos uploaded. see upload file.

Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).

Please recommend reviewers by emailing their names and email addresses to Please include the docket number and brief title of your proposal in the subject line of all emails.