The SRI ARC/NIC records contain material from Stanford Research Institute’s Augmentation Research Center (ARC) and Stanford
Research Institute’s Network Information Center (NIC) project. The bulk of the collection is from 1968 through 1991. The collection
documents the development of Dr. Douglas Engelbart’s NLS/Augment system, which pioneered hypertext concepts and first embodied
many features that later became central to personal computing as well as the World Wide Web. Materials of note include the
work of Engelbart and various members of his lab, the original patent for the computer “mouse,” NLS source code, the ARC journal,
and materials related to the pioneering work done by Dr. Jonathan Postel and other ARC members on developing networking protocols
for the Arpanaet. The bulk of the collection covers the role and work of the Arpanet/DDN NIC (Network Information Center),
which was the information hub of the early Arpanet and later Internet. Included are a wide variety of documents pertaining
to their development, including design, administration, information flow, research projects, programs, protocol development
including the pivotal work of Dr. Jonathan Postel and other ARC members, working groups, naming and addressing development,
and lists of early participants. Types of material include technical notes, proposals, reports, reprints, correspondence,
videos, dump tapes, photographs, seminar presentations, protocols, working group papers, and bibliographies.
The Advanced Research Projects agency (ARPA), now known as DARPA, was established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower as
part of the Department of Defense (DoD). Initially DARPA dealt with the space race, but over time evolved into several basic
research activities, one of which was command, control, and communications (CCC). In 1962, DARPA created the Information Processing
Techniques Office (IPTO), which became a major driving force in the evolution of information technology in the United States.
IPTO, as part of the CCC effort at DARPA, was instrumental in establishing and funding innovations in computers and networking
that led to the Arpanet and then the Internet. DARPA became very interested in funding research in “packet switching” technologies
because packet switching seemed to have the potential to be faster and more reliable than existing network technologies. DARPA
selected several universities and research establishments to use packet switching principles to build a packet-switched research
network called the Arpanet, forerunner of the Internet. The first four sites on the Arpanet were the University of California
at Los Angeles (UCLA), Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, CA, the University of California at Santa Barbara
(UCSB), and the University of Utah (Utah). Originally, each center was to share its particular resources with other members
of the network, i.e., the Arpanet was to be a “resource sharing” network.