||Jeremy Holt - Founder
Jeremy is a Partner in Clark Holt, Commercial Solicitors specialising in computer law. He has written and lectured widely on legal aspects of computing and is regarded as one of the country's leading experts in this field. He lives and works in Swindon.
||Simon Webb - Curator
Simon is an independent IT consultant specialising in hand held data collection systems. His passion is for vintage computers from the 70's/80's.He lives and works in Swindon.
Perhaps the best known display of computer exhibits is in the Science Museum in London. However, the Science Museum aims to cover the whole development of science and technology and the computing element of that must, therefore, always be limited. The Science Museum is an enthusiastic supporter of the Museum of Computing, partly because it would give greater scope for the display of computing exhibits owned by the Science Museum.
The Computer Conservation Society was set up in 1989 as a joint venture between the Science Museum and the British Computer Society. Since then the volunteer efforts of the working parties of the Computer Conservation Society and the efforts of the Science Museum staff have resulted in the successful restoration to working order of a number of early computers. The Computer Conservation Society has no collection of its own and refers historic equipment elsewhere.
The Bletchley Park Trust has done wonders to draw the public's attention to the magnificent work of the code breakers based there in World War Two.
However, there remained a gap – namely a museum devoted exclusively to the development of computers in this country.
The Beginning in Swindon
The first suggestion for a computer museum in Swindon was put forward by Jeremy Holt in 1989 and received encouragement from local computer companies during the next decade. However, it was only in January 2000 that serious progress was made with the establishment of a Steering Committee and a company limited by guarantee. The advent of the University of Bath and the development of the Oakfield Campus provided a unique opportunity for the proposed museum to be co-located on the Campus. Two members of the Steering Committee were from the University.
The Museum of Computing is devoted to the history of computing and digital development. It was the first physical museum of it's kind in the UK dedicated to the history of computing. It is based in the centre of Swindon at Theatre Square.
The Museum is not simply a repository of artefacts, but has active displays as well as providing a forum for the provision of lectures. There is a mixture of permanent and temporary displays, many exhibits of which have been loaned by companies and other collectors.The Museum is keen to show former products of commercial computer companies, and welcomes such offers.
In establishing this new museum, it was the intention to work closely with all of the other groups described above and not in any sense to supplant them.The Museum of Computing will be devoted solely to the history computing and digital development. The Museum aims to:
- preserve the history of computing
- be used as a valuable educational resource
- be used as an information repository for historians, collectors and the media
- illustrate this history in an entertaining way through the provision of interactive displays, interesting lectures, media events, competitions and audience participation
We believe that the establishment has acted as a catalyst for further related developments. These would be backed by contributions both financial and in kind from individuals and computer companies. If you would like to find out more about the role of the Museum of Computing or get involved please contact us.