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Guide to the SRI ARC/NIC records 102706170
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Collection Overview
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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.
281.0 Linear feet 281 record cartons
The Computer History Museum (CHM) can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claims of the copyright holder. Permission to copy or publish any portion of the Computer History Museum’s collection must be given by the Computer History Museum.
The collection is open for research.