27th November 2020
Since our previous update, we have uploaded the following:
BBC Newsreel Footage of LEO I, 16th Feb 1954
We've been very excited to find that in February 1954, the BBC made a short film of LEO I in operation at Cadby Hall, and thanks to the tireless efforts of members of the LEO Computers Society, we have been able to obtain a copy of the footage from the BBC. You can view it via our online catalogue entry for the film here:
Apart from LEO - The Automatic Office (1957), this is the only footage we have seen of LEO I, complete with audio. It also includes some significant figures from the LEO team, including Ernest Lenaerts, Wally Dutton and a wonderfully awkward interview with Assistant Comptroller, T.R. Thompson. If you're aware of any other films of LEO I, please don't hesitate to get in touch!
From Peter Bird's Research Collection: LEO Computers Ltd, Company Secretary's Papers
Since completing the first phase of photographs in the archive last month, I have moved on to the swathes of documentation in the archive, concentrating first on the the earlier development of LEO.
As part of the extensive research for his book, LEO - The First Business Computer (1998), Peter Bird gathered not only photographs but a considerable collection of papers, including a run of Lyons/LEO Computers committee minutes from the late 1950s-early 1960s. At the end of this run are a couple of volumes labelled 'Miscellaneous Documents' (usually this phrase strikes terror into archivists..), and there he deposited, in fairly neat chronological order, the surviving papers of the the LEO Computers Ltd Company Secretary, Michael A. Holmyard. Evidently these papers, including correspondence, file copies of internal memos and other documents, were collected by Michael Holmyard in the course of his work as the most senior administrative officer for LEO Computers. Either by accident or by design, fortunately they survived the cull which Peter Bird describes as having wiped out the 'official' archive of LEO at some point in the late 1980s. Michael Holmyard's files give at least a partial picture of the development of LEO from the administrative point of view, and as far as I can see, have rarely been looked at previously. Over the past few weeks I have focussed on digitising the papers, and have now also catalogued the following:
We hope to have more of these papers online soon!
Find out more about our Heritage Lottery-funded LEO project here:
Welcome to LEO
Posted by: Jude
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