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Joseph Weizenbaum personal archives

Identifier: MC-0383

Scope and Contents

The Joseph Weizenbaum personal archives span the approximate years of 1960 to 1999.

Materials include: theses, publications, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and administrative files.

The only known born-digital material (non-printouts) are files from a 5.25 inch floppy disk in box 16. It is a Pascal computer program, SONIA, written by Thomas Broome III and sent to Weizenbaum. It includes DOS executable files and Pascal source code in plain text.


  • circa 1960s-1990s


Access note

This collection must be reviewed to identify any restricted material before access can be granted. Please submit your requests at least ten business days before your desired visit to allow time for this review. An archivist will respond within five business days to let you know whether your requested material is open. For complete information on this policy, see our Statement on Accessing Institute Records.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Biography Note

Joseph Weizenbaum was appointed professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) July 1, 1970.


19 Cubic Feet (19 record cartons)

.546 Megabytes (9 digital files, including one disk image)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The born-digital files in the collection are executible program files are meant to run on a computer running the operating system, DOS 2.0, which you may need an emulator to use on a present-day computer. The source code is plain text and can be inspected in a text editor.


Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Digital files originally on 5.25 floppy disk in collection. Extracted by digital archivist, Joe Carrano, in May 2022

Processing Information note

Unprocessed until Deed of Gift is completed.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Processing Information

Digital archivist, Joe Carrano copied the digital files on 5.25 inch floppy disk using the Kryoflux software. The files were extracted using the tsk_recover program.

Personal Archives of Joseph Weizenbaum
Transfer List of Material
Ready For Review
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 August 13: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.
  • 2022 May 31: Digital archivist, Joe Carrano, updated the extent, collection-level notes, and listing to reflect digital media transfer accession 2022-069

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