Artifact Details


Guide to the Digital Equipment Corporation records

Catalog Number





The Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) records comprise DEC’s corporate archives, with material dating from 1947 to 2002. The bulk of the collection was collected and created during the company’s years of operation from 1957 to 1998. DEC, founded by engineers Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson, was one of the largest and most successful computer companies in the industry’s history. Widely recognized for its PDP and VAX minicomputer product lines, by 1988 DEC was second only to IBM as the world’s largest computer company. This collection holds the papers of DEC’s executives, engineers, and personnel -- including the personal collections of founders Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson. Also included are DEC’s administrative records and material relating to product development and engineering, with committee meeting minutes, correspondence, Internal newsletters, product proposals, and engineering drawings. Most of DEC’s publications, such as manuals, promotional and sales material, and technical reports, are represented in this collection as well. Lastly, DEC’s large corporate photo library and archive remains intact as a part of this collection, holding tens of thousands of original product photographs, portraits of DEC personnel, images showing client applications of DEC products, brochures, and historical files with visual documentation of the company’s beginnings and milestones. In 1998, DEC was acquired by Compaq, ending its run as a company, though many of its groundbreaking technologies went on to sell under different branding and influence subsequent directions of computing and its industries.


1947-2002; bulk 1957-1998


Doub, Bo; Hayden, Kim; Lott, Sara Chabino


Computer History Museum


1238.79 linear feet in 611 record cartons, 357 manuscript boxes,169 periodical boxes and 319 other


Finding Aid


Anderson, Harlan; DEC microcomputers; Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC); Maynard (Mass.); Olsen, Kenneth H.; PDP computers; RISC microprocessors; VAX computers

Collection Title

Digital Equipment Corporation records