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Zork source code, 1977

 File — archivalstore: 2017_043acc

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The Tapes of Tech Square (ToTS) collection contains digital copies of the raw data (images) on the backup tapes and extracted directories of the files of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab and Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) from 1973 to the early 1990s. There is also a small amount of contextual analog content related to this material. Additionally, there are associated software tools used in and documentation about the ToTS project, from the early 1990s to 2017.

The analog material mentioned above consists of four boxes of content including paper server/tape dump logs and contextual material including handbooks for using ARPANET, other servers, and timesharing systems.

The digital tape images and extracted files contain numerous directories with research and working files primarily textual in nature—code, software, logs, documents, emails, etc., organized by individual users or groups within these labs or by topics. Additionally, there are files created by non-MIT “guests” who had access to the MIT timeshare machines through MIT community members or networked environments such as ARPANET.

Included is an early version of the source code to the interactive fiction game Zork from 1977, extracted for researcher ease of access.


  • 1977

Conditions Governing Access

Digital files are unprocessed and access is restricted without prior approval. Original creators of files can contact Distinctive Collections and request a copy of files they created that are a part of the collection.


From the File: 1.3 Terabytes (13,424,283 digital files)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US