Artifact Details


Ivan E. Sutherland collection on asynchronous computing

Catalog Number







Sutherland, Ivan E.


11 linear feet in 7 record cartons and 3 periodical boxes


The Ivan E. Sutherland collection on asynchronous computing ranges in date from 1966 to 1999 and consists primarily of materials from Sun Microsystems Laboratories during the 1990s and technical reports published by the Computer Systems Laboratory at Washington University during the late 1960s. The most common types of materials in the collection include technical papers and reports, handwritten notes and diagrams, presentation materials, patent applications, correspondence, memos, and code listings. Additionally, there is a small amount of manuals, program libraries, conference proceedings, and literature compilations.

The largest section of the collection consists of research files, the majority of which were created by Charles Molnar while he worked at Sun Microsystems from 1990 to 1996. These files are related to asynchronous computing research and contain drafts of technical reports, hand-drawn diagrams, presentation transparencies, patent applications, internal and external correspondence, and technical papers from Sun Microsystems Laboratories. There are also a significant number of technical papers that were authored and published by people and institutions outside of Sun Microsystems. Sutherland, who worked at Sun with Molnar, saved his files after Molnar passed away in 1996. This portion of the collection also includes some files created by Sutherland, most of which document the work of the Sun Microsystems Laboratories.

A smaller portion of the collection is made up of bound technical memoranda from the Computer System Laboratory at Washington University published between 1966 and 1974. These reports focus on the laboratory’s development of macromodules and macromodular computer systems, which laid the foundation for asynchronous computation. There is also a multi-volume final report on macromodular computer design, which was completed in 1974. The work of the laboratory was directed by Wesley A. Clark and funded in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the Department of Defense.

In addition, the collection holds one box of spiral-bound technical reports from Sun Microsystems Laboratories, which are all titled “Asynchronous Technical Manuals” and dated 1999. Finally, there is a small amount of miscellaneous publications ranging in date from 1975 to 1996, including conference proceedings, program libraries for DECUS, and reference books.


Collection Record


Asynchronous circuits; Clark, Wesley Allison (1927-2016); Molnar, Charles Edwin (1935–1996); Neuromorphic computing; Sun Microsystems Laboratories; Sutherland, Ivan Edward, 1938-; Washington University. Computer Systems Laboratory

Collection Title

Ivan E. Sutherland collection on asynchronous computing


Gift of Ivan Sutherland

Lot Number