IEEE History Center Oral History Program

Repository description: The IEEE Global History Network has collected almost 500 oral history interviews, principally with electrical engineers.

Regulatory significance: A private organization, IEEE is one of the most significant standard setting bodies for electrical technology in the world. Most of the oral histories focus on the development of computers and other highly technical electrical innovations, but some projects will be of particular interest to researchers interested in private regulation and standard setting. Many of these also discuss government’s role in influencing these standards. Relevant projects include interviews with past presidents, discussion of the merger of AIEE and IRE to form the IEEE in 1963, and dozens of interviews focused on standardization.

Dates: Late 1960s – present

Digital access: Selections, if not full transcripts, of most interviews are available online.

Physical access: Researchers should contact the IEEE History Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


Computer Oral History Collection

Project description: This project began in 1967 with the main objective to collect, document, house, and make available for research source material surrounding the development of the computer. The project collected taped oral interviews with individuals who figured prominently in developing or advancing the computer field.

Regulatory significance: At least some interviews speak to issues of private regulatory processes related to standardization of computer language, hardware, etc. A fuller survey of this collection is needed to assess the degree to which it addresses governmental regulation of the computer industry.

RepositoryNational Museum of American History

Interview dates: 1969-1973, 1977

Digital access: Dozens of online transcripts are available.

Physical access: Holdings are available to researchers at the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History, in Washington, DC.