Artifact Details


Lawrence C. Brown papers

Catalog Number





The Lawrence C. Brown papers contain technical reports, manuals, internal memos, clippings, and a small amount of software and photographic materials gathered over the course of Brown’s 32-year long career at International Business Machines (IBM). While the papers range in date from 1953 to 1993, the bulk of the materials are from 1955 to 1975.

About half of the collection pertains directly to Brown’s early work at IBM, where he developed programming languages such as PL/I, Fortran, and NPL. Most of these materials were produced during the 1950s and 1960s and include manuals, internal reports, and notes. There are also IBM internal design documents and memos, code listings, flowcharts, reports, and correspondence chronicling the development of Fortran and PL/I languages and compilers. Many of these reports about PL/I are from the IBM Hursley and IBM Vienna laboratories. This portion of the collection also contains notes from SHARE meetings, most of which concern the definition and standardization of the Fortran language.

The other half of the collection contains manuals, technical reports, and other printed materials from a range of companies and institutions. Examples of companies and topics represented in this part of the collection include Cray, Digital Equipment Corporation, Burroughs Corporation, the Illiac IV, Basic, and ALGOL. Items of particular note in this portion of the collection include materials published in the 1950s from Case University and Dahlgren Naval Weapons Laboratory, including materials related to NORC. The papers also include about 8 linear inches of punch cards, as well as a small amount of 35mm slides.


1953-1996; bulk 1955-1975


Brown, Lawrence C.


9.42 linear feet in 7 record cartons and 1 punch card box


Collection Record


Dahlgren Laboratory; FORTRAN (Computer program language); International Business Machines Corporation (IBM); PL/I (Computer program language)

Collection Title

Lawrence C. Brown papers


From the estate of Lawrence C. Brown

Lot Number