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Computing Center (University of Michigan) publications, 1965-1999

18 linear feet

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. Publications include technical manuals and reports on U-M developed software and network design, newsletters, and general reports on computing at the university.

The Computing Center Publications include brochures and pamphlets, bulletins and course catalogs including "Non-Credit Computing Courses on Campus," manuals including "Info Tech Guide" and "Welcome to Computing at the University of Michigan", newsletters, technical reports, and general reports, such as "Resources and Plans of the University of Michigan with Regard to the Establishment of Data Processing and Computer Center. The manuals and technical reports include documentation the Michigan Terminal System (MTS, U-M's pioneering time-sharing system for the IBM 360 class of computers, the Michigan Algorithm Decoder (MAD operating system) and the University of Michigan Executive System (UMES.) The Computing Center Publications are divided into three series: Unit Publications, Sub-Unit Publications, and Technical Memos and Technical Reports.


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.


Information Technology Division (University of Michigan) records, 1956-1998 (majority within 1985-1997)

69 linear feet — 9.5 GB (online)

The Information Technology Division, formed in 1985, consolidated academic and administrative computing at the University of Michigan. Douglas Van Houweling was named head of the unit and at the same time appointed to the new position of Vice Provost for Information Technology. During the 1980s, the unit oversaw a shift away from Michigan Terminal System (MTS) mainframe computing to a distributed, networked environment. The Information Technology Division record group documents the development of networked computing at the University of Michigan as it evolved from 1979 to 1995, mainly during the tenure of Douglas Van Houweling. The records include historical data, internal and external committee material, correspondence, and topical files and visual material.

The records of the Information Technology Division measure 23.5 linear feet and date from 1976 to 1998; the bulk of the material represents the years 1985 to 1997. The records consist of correspondence, meeting minutes, electronic mail, newspaper clippings, and reports. They document the administration of ITD, the development of computing on campus, UM's role in the development and management of local, regional, and national computer networks, and ITD's participation, largely in the person of Douglas Van Houweling, in a number of computing organizations, most notably EDUCOM and CIESIN (Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network).

The ITD record group is divided into fourteen series including Central Files, Divisions, Networks, University Files, Vendors, Organizations, Deputy Vice-Provost for Information Technology, Vice-Provost for Information Technology, Virginia Rezmerski Files, Computer Sales Program, Computing Sites, Dean's Partnership Program, Software, and Photographs.


Michael T. Alexander papers, 1968-1994 (majority within 1982-1992)

8 linear feet (in 10 boxes)

Michael T. Alexander was a member of the research staff of the University of Michigan's Computing Center and Information Technology Division Research Systems from 1965 to 1996. Collection contains records of Alexander's duties as well as extensive documentation for the Michigan Terminal System, including manuals and systems reports.

The Michael T. Alexander papers document the work of Alexander and other University of Michigan Computing Center programmers and staff in developing the Michigan Terminal System (MTS) and other software.

The title of this collection acknowledges Michael T. Alexander as the primary collector and donor of the papers. The collection includes a varsity of administrative records relating to MTS with an emphasis on the development of certain aspects of the Michigan Terminal System environment such as email.

Researchers should be aware that these records use the term "MTS" in three different respects:

  1. MTS the UMMPS Job Program with which most end-users interact;
  2. MTS the software system, including UMMPS, the MTS and other Job Programs, Command Language Subsystems (CLSs), public files (programs), and documentation; and
  3. MTS the time-sharing service offered at a particular site, including the MTS software system, the hardware used to run MTS, the staff that supported MTS and assisted end-users, and the associated administrative policies and procedures.

In the first instance, "MTS" would be considered a part of the UM Multiprogramming Supervisor (UMMPS). In the other instances, however, the UMMPS would be considered a part of "MTS." The researcher should, therefore, exercise caution when assuming a particular hierarchical relationship between MTS and UMMPS in these records.

The records of the Michael T. Alexander collection are organized in six series: Administrative Records; Budget Material; Distribution Tapes and Documentation; Software Manuals and Programming; Systems Reports; and Vendors.


M-Pathways Project (University of Michigan) records, 1996-2006

9 linear feet — 176.7 MB

Formed in 1996, the M-Pathways Project was charged with the design and implementation of new administrative information systems for the University of Michigan, which had previously used the Michigan Terminal System (MTS). As part of this project, the University was a Beta partner for the development of the PeopleSoft Student Administrative System. Includes Strategic Data Plan, project charter, scope documents, project methodology, performance support plans and project design and implementation deliverables relating to the organization and processes of the M-Pathways Project. Also contains archived websites and snapshots of the Lotus Notes databases used to store the design deliverables for the project. The databases include information related to the technical infrastructure, technical issues, and development of technical standards.

When the M-Pathways Project started in the Fall of 1996, several decisions were made about the way the design and implementation of the five new information systems would proceed. One of these decisions was how to organize project documentation. It was decided to centralize the team's work in a number of Lotus Notes databases. While project communications within Lotus Notes indicate that using "Notes" was very new for most project members, however, it was considered the most useful electronic storage format at the time. Several databases were initially set up, and over the course of the project additional databases were added. The earliest databases include the Big Ten Discussion and the Strategic Data Plan Documentation Library. For each of the databases, whether stored in paper or electronic format, the archivist has documented the original structure and views available within the database. This documentation includes title of database, date created, quantity, bulk dates, preservation format, and database views. This information is in a folder titled "Archivist's Documentation on Lotus Notes Databases" located in Box 1 of the record group. The record group consists of six series: Communications, Organizational, Student Administration, Technology Administration, Videotape, and Website.