Artifact Details


Arthur W. Astrin papers

Catalog Number







Astrin, Arthur


72.84 linear feet in 44 record cartons, 2 manuscript boxes, 5 newspaper boxes, 15 other containers


The Arthur W. Astrin papers, ranging in date from 1965 to 2002, contain materials related to Astrin’s career as an engineer and executive at Unicomp, Intersil, Rolm Corporation, Memorex, and Apple.

About a third of the collection is made up of records from Astrin’s early career at Northridge Engineering and Unicomp, ranging in date from 1965 to 1973. Much of the material pertains to fast Fourier transform (FFT) and digital signal processing technologies. Types of materials include manuals, design drawings, schematics, price lists, and program listings for Unicomp programs like Unicap. In this section of the collection, there are also program libraries for various computer systems, such as the DEC PDP-8, as well as materials related to navigation, such as manuals for navigation systems by Litton and Magnavox. This series also contains six boxes of subject files collected during his time with Northridge and Unicomp.
The papers also hold materials from Lexar, MRI Systems Corporation, and Memorex from between 1974 and 1977 related to consulting with Citibank on a backend system. This section includes design drawings, handwritten notes, specifications, progress reports, and manuals. There is additional Memorex material, including memos, design drawings, manuals, subject files and reports, from 1977 to 1981. Topics include patent applications, local area networks, secure data and encryption, and airline communication systems. There are also two boxes of materials from Intersil, most of which date from the early 1980s and pertain to the Versatile Cluster Control (VCC) technologies being developed by the company.

Another significant portion of the collection consists of Rolm documentation from between 1984 and 1994, during which Rolm was purchased by IBM and then Seimans. Topics in this series include local area networks, connectivity, communication systems and vendors, voice messaging, the ROLM 9751, and company direction and strategy. There are manuals, marketing materials, newspaper and magazine clippings, product development documentation, work plans and project timelines, engineering specifications, evaluation reports, presentation materials, course materials, and memos. This section of the collection holds extensive materials related to Astrin’s role in the executive marketing group, with records and handwritten notes from the executive briefings that he facilitated.

The collection holds about four linear feet of Apple materials, ranging in date from 1995 to 2002. Much of the material pertains to Bluetooth, wireless, and WaveLAN technologies. Types of materials include project proposals, presentation materials, concept reviews, meeting minutes, specifications, technical reports, human resources information, price lists, market reviews and forecasts, and lab notebooks. There are also subject files on various technologies being used at the time at Apple and elsewhere, most of which contain technical data and reports. This section also has materials related to the original equipment manufacturers of various Apple products during that time period, such as Lucent.

Scattered throughout the collection are promotional materials, data sheets, and manuals from other companies from the 1970s and 1980s. For example, there is documentation from Shugart Associates, Priam, Seagate, HP, Quotron Systems, General Automation, Burroughs, Interdata, Tymshare, Systems Engineering Laboratories, Electrac, Varisystems Corporation, and Data General. In addition, there are business plans from the 1980s for companies such as Read-Rite, Paraphrase, Inc., Cybernex Corporation, LanComm Systems, and Digitrax Digital Storage and Recall System for motion picture editing. There is a small amount of conference materials for events such as Communication Networks and Hot Chips.


Collection Record


Bluetooth technologies; Apple Computer, Inc.; Fast Fourier Transform (FFT); International Business Machines Corporation. ROLM Systems Division; Intersil; Memorex Corporation; ROLM Corporation; Signal processing--Digital techniques; Unicomp; Wireless LANs

Collection Title

Arthur W. Astrin papers


Gift of Jean Astrin Ichnowski

Lot Number