The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

An Annotated and Illustrated Catalog

Erwin Tomash in his library

This catalog documents the collection (perhaps the best ever assembled) of books and manuscripts related to the history of computing. It was put together, over many years, by Erwin Tomash - himself a pioneer in the development of computers. The collection consists of well over five thousand items from twelfth century manuscripts to modern publications. This catalog documents the rarest items (about 3,000, usually pre-1955) together with a series of essays that explain the uses of little known instruments and techniques that are discussed in the entries. Each entry consists of the usual bibliographic details, some biographical information on the author, a description of the contents, and illustrations of interesting pages and diagrams. Further information about the collection can be had by reading the Preface and the Author's Note in the Appendix.

How to use this catalog

This catalog is almost 1600 pages long, consequently it can be difficult to navigate. Please note that secondary authors are more difficult to find and can be found within the several indexes at the end of the work: a subject index, and author index, and a listing of items by date of publication. Each Adobe file is searchable; use "search" rather than the "find" facility.

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Examining all the illustrations

Each item in the catalog ends with a section of "Illustrations available." During the creation of this Catalog we scanned almost 16,000 illustrations. Many of these will already be used in this catalog, but often there are interesting items that we could not include.

Access the Tomash Library Illustrations


Byrne.geometry of the compass.1877.frontispiece (color)