J. C. R. Licklider papers
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Scope and Contents of the Collection
The collection includes writings, presentations, research proposals, and conference descriptions, which document Licklider's career and research interests, 1941-1995; MIT course materials, 1957-1984, which document courses taught by Licklider on computer programming and related public policy issues; documentation concerning GRAPPLE, 1983-1985, a system developed at the Laboratory for Computer Science by the Graphical Programming Group, which included Licklider; and records about lawsuits involving Infocom, a software company in which he was an investor. Also included are personal records, which include genealogical records, employment applications, and security clearances, 1940-1989.
- Creation: 1938 - 1995
- Licklider, J. C. R. (Person)
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Joseph C. R. Licklider (1915-1990), BA, 1937, MA, 1938, Washington University; PhD, 1942, University of Rochester, was a research associate, Swarthmore College, 1941-1942; research associate and fellow, Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory, Harvard University, 1942-1946; and lecturer, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 1946-1950. He was associate professor of electrical engineering, then economics and social science at MIT, 1950-1957; he was concurrently group leader in the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, 1952-1955, and member of the MIT Acoustics Laboratory, 1951-1955. He was head of the department of psycho-acoustics, engineering psychology, and information systems research and vice president, Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., 1957-1962; director for Information Processing Techniques and Behavioral Science, Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), US Department of Defense, 1962-1964, 1974-1975; and consultant, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, International Business Machines Corporation, 1964-1967. He returned to MIT as a visiting professor, 1966-1967, and remained as professor of electrical engineering, then computer science, 1967-1985. He was director of MIT Project MAC (later renamed the Laboratory for Computer Science), 1968-1970, and organizer of the Cambridge Project, 1969-1974. From 1985 until his death in 1990 he was professor emeritus at MIT.
Licklider's pioneering work in computer science included establishing the basis for concepts such as time sharing and resource sharing. He was also interested in improving the dialogue between humans and computers, a concept he called "man-computer symbiosis" about which he wrote extensively in the 1960s. He contributed to the fields of computer networking and information storage and retrieval, and he was the second director of Project MAC at MIT, which was one of the first large-scale experimental computer science research projects in the nation. He was also the author or co-author of a number of articles and books, including "Man-Computer Symbiosis," 1960, and Libraries of the Future, 1965.
25.2 Cubic Feet (25 record cartons, 1 half manuscript box)
Language of Materials
Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.
Source of Acquisiton
Materials were given to Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) in September 1996 by the Licklider family, and transferred from CSAIL in 2004 and 2005.
- Licklider, J. C. R. Libraries of the Future. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1965. MIT Libraries.
- Licklider, J. C. R. "Man-Computer Symbiosis." IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, 1960.
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.
- Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of J. C. R. Licklider
- Ready For Review
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
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