The Arkansas Academy of Computing has initiated a History Project to preserve many of the stories and artifacts of the founding of the computing business in Arkansas. Most of the true computing industry pioneers in Arkansas had no idea they would make a career and significant contributions in this new field and their stories are fascinating, informative, and inspirational.
The Academy’s intention with this project is to record the stories of these pioneers for posterity, where possible in their own words. We believe these stories may be valuable for research as well as passing on the knowledge of what really happened to future generations. The evolution of the computing industry is one of the most important business stories of the 20th century, and these early participants formed the Arkansas story into one of successful businesses, changes in education and lifestyle that impact all of our lives today.
The Academy is proud of the accomplishments of these Arkansas leaders and intends to make sure they are not only recognized, but their experiences and accomplishments are not forgotten!
The AAoC History Project is a long-term endeavor. Our plan is to video interview as many of our members as possible over time, starting with the founders. The Academy was created through the vision of Bob Crisp and George Knight in 2006. At the time Bob was a Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas and was able to record interviews with a few of the new members using students as the interviewers. While certainly not what would today be called professional in their presentation, the videos of these interviews are treasures to be preserved and are the foundation of this project.
In the past year, AAoC member John Chamberlin has continued to spearhead this project with considerable help from Collins Andrews, Bob Crisp, Susan Norton and the video studio engineers and production artists from the Fayetteville Public School district. Under John’s leadership, the AAoC History Project Committee has begun adding more interviews to our archives that may be somewhat improved in quality, but still are basically conversations with these important individuals.
The format we intend to follow in the future with the AAoC founders is to conduct a one hour interview with similar questions about background, early career, evolution of the industry, lessons learned, etc. In addition, we plan to conduct shorter video interviews with all new AAoC inductees. That portion of the project began this year with four of the 2014 inductees.
The Pryor Center for Oral and Visual History at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has agreed to archive all of these recordings and other computing artifacts we accumulate in perpetuity.
In the interim, and as a service to our members and other interested parties, the videos are available on YouTube through the links below.
In each case, you may read the text bio of the person being interviewed or see the interviews on YouTube by following the links below:
Founding of the Arkansas Academy of Computing
Arkansas Academy of Computing Founders