Artifact Details


Charles Bourne papers

Catalog Number







Bourne, Charles P.


98.96 linear feet in 66 record cartons, 4 manuscript boxes, and 20 periodical boxes


The Charles Bourne papers consist of materials related to his pioneering career in the online and database industry, including his work at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), UC Berkeley, and Dialog Information Services. Ranging in date from 1957 to 2001, the collection traces Bourne’s career as well as his interest in documenting information about computer-searching systems, organizations active in the field, and people who worked in the industry.

About a third of the collection consists of Bourne’s personal project files, which include papers, presentations, and other activities related to his professional work. These include records from his jobs at Berkeley, SRI, and Dialog, as well as files from his consulting work for various universities, government departments, and national organizations. In addition, there are a number of files that were generated while researching and writing books.

The bulk of the collection is made up of Bourne’s subject files on organizations and systems, people, and database suppliers. This group of records contains reports, instruction manuals, internal reports, and clippings about both organizations active in developing computer-based search systems as well as stand-alone computer search systems. There are also files on organizations that were related to, but not directly engaged in, computer-based searching. Many of these materials were used to create his book, A History of Online Information Services, 1963-1976. The papers also include subject files on people that Bourne worked with or heard about over his career. This portion of the collection contains articles and publications about or by these people, as well as correspondence, meeting notes, and some images and recordings. Also included in the collection are files on database suppliers, which hold documentation about and by organizations that were making their computer-based databases available for computer searching.

Additionally, the collection includes Bourne’s technical library, which consists of about fifteen linear feet of publications relevant to Bourne’s computer and information science interests, including serials, conference proceedings, and individual reports and books.


Collection Record


Bourne, Charles P.; Databases; Data processing systems; DIALOG Information Services; Information retrieval; Information storage and retrieval systems; Stanford Research Institute

Collection Title

Charles Bourne papers


Gift of Charles P. Bourne

Lot Number