This site reflects the main results of the investigations of the History of Computing in Russia initiated during the last years by the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Novosibirsk State University.
In these investigations we had an inestimable help from people who participated in the events of the past, their colleagues, students and friends readily responding to our invitation to take part in preparation of materials for our studies. So, we could gather reach materials about the events and the people making famous the Russian science in this field of knowledge. It suffice to name the Computer Pioneers Aleksey Lyapunov and Sergey Lebedev, the Nobel Laureate Leonid Kantorovich, the Academicians Andrey Kolmogorov and Andrey Ershov.
A part of the collected materials made up a source of several books* on the History of Computing published in Moscow and Novosibirsk.
Today, we proceed our investigations. Our team is open. We would like to invite, for any meaningful cooperation, partners interested in the history of computing in Russia, in Europe, and elsewhere.
The computers and new information technologies present the crucial achievement of the 20th century. The knowledge on formation and development of computer science in different countries are of great value. Acquaintance with the historical events and distinguished individuals bringing our field to its contemporary progress has an important educational and ethical potential.
This information has a great social importance. It is widely accepted that information technology currently exert a very strong influence on the fabric of the society - from the very ideas of social organization (democracy, openness, personal rights and freedoms) to the style of human thinking. The concepts developing in the field of computer and communication sciences shortly find their continuation in the social life. History should be considered as a part of human understanding how the development of computing has affected the human environment. It is an important societal challenge in such conditions to disseminate the knowledge on the history of origin and development of computer science, and on the outstanding scientists and engineers who pioneered this area.
The history of computer and information science, like history of any other science, is an important and inseparable part of this science. The results of exploring the history of computer science and information technologies will also facilitate the international exchange of information and promote the preservation of cultural and scientific heritage among the broad audience, especially young people.
The scientists and engineers of different countries have contributed in the development of computer science at various stages of its history. Up to recent time, the important issues related to this history in Central and Eastern European countries have not been considered in a proper way.
There exists a great deficiency in research work on the history of computing in various European countries. The known American expert in the history of computing, Professor Paul Edwards (University of Michigan) recently wrote1:
“Most historiography in English has focused on the United States. This is not unjustified, since American corporations and the US government played the dominant role in computer development during the critical period of 1940-1960. But European, Japanese, and Soviet computing have their own independent stories, as dose computerization outside the developed world.
As computer networks link the entire globe, understanding the spread of computer technology and the contributions of lesser-known participants becomes increasingly crucial to a full grasp of computer history. This is a colossal and difficult task, beyond the reach of any individual. In the future, I hope we will see more team projects and edited volumes comparing, contrasting, and linking the history of computers and networks around the world”
We hope, our research in the field of the history of computer science in Russia will present a valuable contribution in the solution of the important problems of historiography mentioned by Professor Edwards.
1"Making History: New Directions in Computer Historiography" / IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 2001, N 1, pp. 86-88.