Artifact Details

Title

Guide to the Robert (Bob) Bemer papers

Catalog Number

102724781

Type

Text

Date

1943-2001

Author

Doran, Jack; Lott, Sara Chabino

Publisher

Computer History Museum

Extent

5.42 linear feet in 4 record cartons and 1 manuscript box

Description

The Robert (Bob) Bemer papers, ranging in date from 1943 to 2001, with the bulk between 1955 and 1959, trace Bemer’s career in programming at IBM, Rand Corporation, General Electric, and Honeywell, Inc., as well as his personal interest in documenting, sharing and preserving information about the history of computing. Bemer was responsible for developing six ASCII characters, played a key role in the development of COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language), and identified what became known as the Y2K problem. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, published papers and articles, speeches, newspaper clippings, and technical documentation. Roughly one-fourth of the collection relates to Bemer’s discovery of the Y2K problem and his subsequent work to solve it. The remaining three-fourths of the collection relates to Bemer’s work on programming languages and standards, and among these documents are what Bemer called “vignettes” about the history of computing and software, as remembered by Bemer and his contemporaries.

Category

Finding Aid

Subject

ASCII (Character set); Year 2000 date conversion (Computer systems); Bemer, Bob; Assembly languages (Electronic computers); COBOL (Computer program language); Electronic data processing; FORTRAN (Computer program language)

Credit

Gift of Bettie Bemer

Lot Number

X3054.2005