22nd October 2020
In an interesting few weeks for the museum, we're feeling very fortunate to be able to continue with our LEO project relatively unscathed! The project is indebted to Jason and the core team at CCH who acted swiftly to limit the effects of the flood, and thanks to them we were able to move the LEO archive quickly and safely to a store away from the water ingress. We're very thankful that none of the LEO material sustained any damage. You can read further about how the museum generally is coping in the aftermath of the flood here: Flood update, 8th Oct 2020
Picking up where we left off - completing the first phase of LEO photographs. The aim for this phase is to ensure any photos which are of LEO I (or from that era) are listed and accessible online. As noted in previous posts, the LEO Computers Society (LCS) has collected hundreds of photos from a variety of different sources, and our job for this phase has been to bring them all together online.
Since our previous update, we have uploaded the following:
Photographs donated by Stan Evans, LEO I engineer
We've been hugely fortunate that Stan Evans, who worked as an engineer for Lyons from 1956, has been in touch this year and has been an enormous help to our VR project. Stan's memory for the detail of his work with LEO I is extraordinary, and he's given Chris Monk, our VR researcher, a great deal of information concerning the 'Calculator room' itself at Cadby Hall, and the processes involved in running LEO I. He has also very generously passed on several photos:
Photographs collected by LEO historian Peter Bird
You can see the sections of Peter Bird's extensive collection of LEO photographs which we have already catalogued here: Peter Bird's photographs of LEO.
We have added these final few to the catalogue over the last few weeks:
Photographs from the papers of David Caminer
Recently a number of original prints of 'classic' photos of LEO I have been discovered by Hilary Caminer, Secretary of the LCS Committee and daughter of David Caminer, who has already donated a substantial collection of her father's papers to the LCS archive - you can see our current progress on the catalogue of David Caminer's papers. Among the LEO I photos was one which we had never seen before (see pictured), showing LEO I stalwart Ernest Lenaerts sitting at the engineering console early in the installation and development of LEO I.
Photographs transferred by LCS Chair Peter Byford
Photographs from the LEO Computers Collections held at the University of Manchester Library
Early on in the project, LCS Committee member and keen computer conservationist John Daines visited the LEO-related material held at the University of Manchester as part of what was originally called the National Archive of Historic Computing (NAHC). (The catalogue for Manchester's LEO holdings is available online via the Archives Hub).
As part of his research, John took digital copies of the LEO photographs held there and donated them to the LCS archive. We have now catalogued the LEO I-specific images - those which were not already duplicated in Peter Bird's collection - and uploaded them to our online catalogue, retaining the original 'NAHC' references so they can be easily identified.
Accessing the Photographs
All of the photographs which we have catalogued so far can be viewed on this page of the online LEOPEDIA:
LEO Archive - Photographs
If you scroll down the page you can see the photographs grouped together by 'subject', so LEO I, LEO II, LEO III, LEO People and Non-LEO Photos.
You can also view the different collections of photographs within the archive catalogue itself - this will show you the same catalogue records and images as the LEOPEDIA page, just organised differently (more like a traditional archive catalogue). For example: Peter Bird's photographs, and photographs in the LCS collection.
We have watermarked the images on the catalogue to prevent misuse, and neither the Centre for Computing History nor the LEO Computers Society assert copyright over any image unless expressly stated. We have made every effort to clear copyright in the images, but if you have concerns about our displaying a particular image please don't hesitate to let us know.
A Note about LEOVR
Photographs of LEO I have formed a core part of the research for the virtual reality part of our project - have a closer look at the photos and what they can tell us about the first installation of LEO at Cadby Hall via the LEOvr interactive here: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/leodev/photos/
Find out more about our Heritage Lottery-funded LEO project here:
Welcome to LEO
Posted by: Jude