Hursley Museum



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Hursley Museum

IBM Hursley Museum

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The museum at IBM Hursley Park exists to help preserve IBM's historical heritage. It contains artefacts developed at the Hursley Park location as well as hardware from the company's beginnings through to the PC and PS/2 eras and beyond. Staff on-site can visit the museum at any time. Customer groups are often shown around the Museum during visits to the Executive Briefing Centre but due to its location in the IBM development laboratory the Museum is not open to the general public. However visits by organised groups can be, and are, arranged. Applications for such visits should be made via our contact page. Note: Hursley site was closed from March 2020, and is now opening up again. Curators are only just able to resume activities and we cannot arrange visits at the moment.

416 Tabulator from Oslo

Hursley's Museum is located in several rooms on the lower ground floor of Hursley House. There is also a display area in the Bristol Office, where Cloudant staff are based, and in Manchester.

The Origins of IBM displays are spread over two rooms, one covering Punch Card technology - the T in CTR (Computing Tabulating & Recording Company), the original name of IBM, and the other time clocks, recorders and pre-IBM computing - the C & R. The Hursley room is dedicated to products developed by the Laboratory and displays the limited number of artefacts that still survive. It includes a System/370 console, reflecting Hursley's participation in the development of that series, and recently acquired artefacts like the 4691 'Moonshine' Leisure Terminal. The PC room was rearranged a while ago, as was the room once containing ThinkPads and Office Products. Some larger items of Unit Record equipment fill the gaps.

Recent Activities

Bletchley Park 080 Sorter

The Hursley site was closed from the beginning of March 2020, with employees working from home. The site is open as of April 2022 so the curators have been able to resume visits. Our 080 card sorter has been loaned to Bletchley Park for their new exhibition "The Intelligence Factory" that opened in April 22. This exhibition tells the story of the data processing activities that supported the code breaking efforts. There were many card punches, sorters, collators and tabulators in use during the war effort.

A page has been added to the web site, which tries to explain the typical processes and hardware involved in data processing using punch cards . It also highlights some of the hardware that in part contributed to the demise of the IBM Card. It includes a photo of a warehouse facility containing an estimated 4Gb of punch card storage. Each punch card offered a maximum of 80 columns, or bytes. One card box typically contained 2,000 cards for a maximum of 160K bytes, 6.1/4 boxes per Megabyte, or 625 boxes per 100M. Find your little processing job amongst that lot!

 

 

Museum Trifolds

Another trifold was been added to the collection in 2020, the first of a series covering "IBM innovation that helped to change the world". It is now available on the museum web site trifold page.

IBM interactive “History of Progress”

We’ve added a link from the museum web site to IBM’s “History of Progress” at https://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/interactive/index.html . Since the demise of Flash Player, you have the option to download a desktop version or a PDF. You will find it gives a really interesting account of IBM’s history from pre-IBM 1890s through to the early 2000s.