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Aaron Finerman Papers, 1950-1990 (majority within 1962-1989)

5 linear feet

Professor of computer science and director of the Computing Center at the University of Michigan 1978-1986, previously worked at SUNY-Stony Brook and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Professional and personal papers include correspondence, research reports, and material relating to development and administration of the U-M Computing Center.

The Aaron Finerman papers document his career as an information technology professional. Organized into two series, Personal and Career and Professional Activities, the papers span the years 1950-1990 with the bulk of the material documenting the years between 1962 and 1989. The Finerman papers document his contributions to the emerging information technology profession. His papers offer insight into the differences between the worlds of industry and academia, as he worked in both. Finerman's travels and interests as documented in his papers also provide insight into the development of information technology on an international level. Related collections at the Bentley Historical Library include the records of the University of Michigan Information Technology Division, the University of Michigan Computing Center, and the papers of Bernard Galler, who was a close friend of Finerman.


Computing Center (University of Michigan) records, 1952-1996 (majority within 1959-1987)

42.5 linear feet — 1 GB (online)

Established in 1959 to operate academic computing facility and provide computing services for faculty and students. Developed Michigan Terminal System (MTS) operating system and other software for mainframe computers. Merged into University of Michigan Information Technology Division in 1985. Administrative records including minutes, correspondence, budget material, and reports, documenting management of the center, purchase and operation of mainframe computers, development of MTS and other software, and computer networks. Also includes paper and digital MTS distribution documentation.

Records of the Computing Center have been received in three major accessions ? 1994, 1996, and 2011. Arrangement of the records in each accession is intended to reflect complimentary series. Each accession is described separately, and there is some overlap between the two.

The 1994 accession of the Computing Center record group primarily documents the founding and operation of the University of Michigan Computing Center from 1959 to 1987. It also includes some information on computing activities at the university prior to the founding of the Computing Center, dating back as far as 1952. Researchers should note that there is overlap between this accession and 1996 accessions. There is also overlap with the Information Technology Division record group, particularly after 1986 when ITD was created to bring together the Data Systems Center and the Computing Center under the purview of the Provost for Academic Affairs.

The records, which were in a very disorganized state when accessioned into the archives, were arranged into eight series: Historical Files, Administrative Records, Topical File, MTS (Michigan Terminal System), Word Processing Project, Vendors, and Photographs.

The 1996 accessions from the Computing Center add 32 feet of additional material to the record group. The records bring (in various formats) both breadth and depth to the earlier accessions, filling in major gaps and adding new documentation. The records are organized into nine series, generally corresponding to the arrangement of the earlier accession: Administrative Records, Computer Files, MTS (Michigan Terminal System), Merit Network, MAD (Michigan Algorithm Decoder), Word Processing Project, Vendors, Software Contracts, and Topical Files. Researchers should note that there is considerable overlap between Computing Center accessions and the Information Technology record group, particularly between 1985 and 1990 and especially for financial material and major committees.