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'The Way Things Were': How ACM Is Opening the Doors to Its Archives


The computing industry has changed significantly over the past 75 years, and the Association for Computing Machinery was there for all of it.

Over that time, the educational and scientific group representing nearly 100,000 members across 190 countries has collected a number of published works within its archives, many of which discuss fundamental work within the world of computers—for example, the first mention of UNIX, a groundbreaking operating system that has deeply influenced modern computing, in 1973, or an in-depth interview with Steve Jobs from 1989.

Once, this information—immensely valuable to historians and researchers alike—might have been locked behind a paywall. But as a part of its landmark campaign for its 75th anniversary celebrations, ACM is opening up a large portion of its archives, making the first 50 years of its published records—more than 117,500 documents dating from 1951 to 2000—accessible to the public without a login.

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