News from the Archives, Fall 2022

General news

This has been an exciting season for the CBI Archives. Over the past few months, we’ve brought in two amazing collections, served dozens of researchers from all around the world, and I’ve had the honor to lead a workshop in preserving ACM and it’s SIG’s heritage. With incredible speakers like Dr. Ruby Mendenhall (TITLE) and former CBI Director Dr. Tom Misa, it was a great success and I look forward to working with my co-organizers to compile the Proceedings, which will be published by the Digital Library of the ACM.

Exciting Collection Development

Over the summer, a number of collections arrived at the Charles Babbage Institute and I’m thrilled to announce that an addition to the Edmund Berkley papers will soon be added to the collection’s finding aid, a raft of new periodicals donated by Robert Adler will be incorporated into the Library’s catalog, as well a major accrual to Dr. Jonathan Coopersmith’s personal papers on the history of the fax machine.

In addition to these exciting additions, Ben Delaney and Aaron Marcus also donated significant collections of records in the areas of virtual and augmented reality, human-computer interaction. I’m beyond thrilled to announce these two, major acquisitions to our holdings.

- Aaron Marcus -

Aaron Marcus, Principal at Aaron Marcus and Associates, Berkeley, California, was the first graphic designer to work with computers (1967). He is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus User Experience; Editor, Information Design Journal; Advisory Board, Visible Language; and Chair, Design, User Experience, and Usability Conferences. 

A Fellow of the AIGA and a member of the CHI Academy, he taught at Princeton, Yale, the Hebrew University/Jerusalem, and was recently Visiting Professor, Institute of Design, IIT, Chicago, and College of Design and Innovation/Tongji University, Shanghai. He has exhibited his graphic design and artwork worldwide and was included in ICOGRADA’s Master Designers of the Twentieth Century, 2000.

Over the course of his career, Aaron has published 30 books and 300+ articles. He lectures and tutors worldwide at major UX/HCI conferences. His art and design works can be found in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Letterform Archive in San Francisco, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and RIT’s Vignelli Graphic Design Center Archive in Rochester.

Spanning his entire professional life, the collected records stand at approximately 60 linear feet of rare periodicals, graphic art works on several media formats, as well as the client files of Aaron Marcus and Associates. Working with clients ranging from Apple to Citibank, these files document the evolution of computer graphics in the business environment as well as the field of usability and user experience.

Some of my favorite items within the collection are the binder scrapbooks that Aaron compiled to document the conferences he attended. Included within the binders are the business cards of every person he engaged with as well as a short note or doodle about their conversations and the context in which they met. It is an incredible view into the networks that sprang up in the graphics and HCI industry and demonstrates the symbiotic nature of computers as a bridge between fine arts and business practice.

We are honored that Mr. Marcus has selected the Charles Babbage Institute Archives as the home for the bulk of his personal and professional records.

- Ben Delaney -

Ben Delaney is currently the CEO and Chief Analyst at ImmersivEdge Advisors (, providing virtual and augmented reality market intelligence. In 1990, Ben founded CyberEdge Information Services, and was the Publisher and Editor of the virtual reality industry’s most important news source, CyberEdge Journal.

In addition to dozens of client and conference presentations, Ben has authored hundreds of articles on virtual and augmented reality that demonstrate how advanced computer technologies are impacting society and business, and our personal lives. His work has been cited by the New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Business Week, amongst many others.

With his interest and focus on the socio-economic and cultural implications of computer technologies, Ben’s collection of grey literature, film, and VR-related newsletters, the collection is a natural fit with CBI, and we’re excited about the contemporary nature of the material. Over the next few months, we’ll be working closely with Ben and a film crew to utilize materials from the collection in an upcoming documentary and a finding aid will soon be available on the CBI Archives website.

Looking Ahead

Over the next few months, we hope to open these two new collections up for researcher access and are excited about the potential usage of these unique materials. Processing does take time and effort, however, and if you would be interested in supporting CBI by donating funds to support their processing and digitization, please  make a donation.

Amanda Wick

Interim CBI Curator


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