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Catalog Data

Hopper, Grace Murray, 1906-1992  Search this
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Former owner:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Remington Rand.  Search this
2.5 Cubic feet (7 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Technical notes
Scope and Contents:
The material includes technical notes, operating instructions and descriptions relating to projects which Hopper participated in at Harvard during and after World War II and later in the private sector. These projects involved the creation of the Navy's Mark I, II and III "mechanical calculators" (the fore runners of today's computers) and the UNIVAC and ENIAC civilian models. The photographs document both equipment and Hopper with her colleagues at work and on social occasions. There are numerous published articles and memoranda by Hopper and others on various technical aspects of computers. Clippings of newspaper and magazine articles relating to computers and their development are also included, as well as periodicals and brochures. A "humor file" contains jokes and anecdotes collected by Hopper. Much of the material is annotated by Hopper, primarily through notations on 3 x 5 white slips of paper. Some of the annotations by Elizabeth Luebbert, who served as a summer research assistant in the Museum's Computer History Project.
The collection is divided into eleven series. Series 1: Technical Documents, 1944-1949 Series 2: Photographs of Mark II, 1948 Series 3: Photographs at Harvard, 1944-1945 Series 4: Reports and Articles, 1946-1948 Series 5: Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, 1949-1965 Series 6: Compiling Routines, 1952-1954 Series 7: Press Clippings, 1944-1953 Series 8: Periodicals and Brochures, 1950-1953 Series 9: Humor file, 1944-1953 Series 10: Machine Tape, undated Series 11: Audiovisual Materials, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) obtained her Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University in 1934. She was an associate professor of mathematics at Vassar College when she joined the Women's Reserve of the United States Navy, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in 1944 and was assigned to the computing project at Harvard University. She served under Commander Howard H. Aiken as a Wave until 1946, and remained at Harvard's Computation Laboratory as a research fellow until 1949. In that year she joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation as a senior mathematician. When Eckert-Mauchly became a division of Remington Rand, Hopper remained as senior programmer, a title she retained until 1959. Subsequently, she served as systems engineer and director of automatic programming development (1959-1964) and staff scientist in systems programming (1964-1971) for the UNIVAC division of Sperry Rand Corporation. Hopper retired from UNIVAC in 1972, having returned to active service in the U.S. Navy from which she eventually retired with the rank of Rear Admiral.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center Computer Oral History Collection (AC0196) This collection contains five oral history interviews with Grace Murray Hopper conducted on: July 1, 1968; November 1, 1968; January 7, 1969; February 4, 1969; and July 5, 1972.
Grace Murray Hopper donated her materials to the National Museum of American History, Section of Mathematics in 1967 and 1968. The majority of the collection was donated through the Museum's Computer Oral History Project in 1972.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Computer programmers  Search this
Computer programming  Search this
Mathematicians  Search this
Computers  Search this
Systems engineering  Search this
Univac computer  Search this
Articles -- 20th century
Technical notes
Grace Murray Hopper Collection, 1944-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Grace Murray Hopper Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History