Control Data Corporation Records,
1946-1991. Finding Aid.
Control Data Corporation.
500 boxes (approximately 350 cubic feet)
The Control Data
Corporation Records documents the company's operations, goals, plans, and
products from its inception in 1957 to 1992.
Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute.
Access and Use
The majority of the records were given to the Charles Babbage
Institute by the Ceridian Corporation in 1991.
Access to the collection is unrestricted.
The Charles Babbage Institute holds the copyright to all materials in
the collection, except for items covered by a prior copyright (such as
published materials). Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair
use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).
Control Data Corporation Records (CBI 80), Charles Babbage Institute,
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
The collection is arranged into 28 series:
Subsidiaries, and Joint Ventures, 1951-1991
- Annual and Quarterly
- Artifacts, circa
- Audio, Film and Video Collection
- Computer-Based Education (CBE) and PLATO Courseware
- Control Data Photographic
- CO-OP Records,
- Corporate Administration,
- Historical Archives and
Company History, 1957-2000
- Corporate Identity,
- Engineering, Research and
- Executive History Project
Records (1980), 1957-1981
- Executive Interviews,
- Executive Papers,
- Executive Papers - William
C. Norris, 1946-1991
- Financial Records,
- Legal Records,
- Marketing, Sales and
Public Relations, 1959-1989
- News Releases,
- Newspaper and Magazine
- Personnel Documents and
- Photographs and Slides
- Planning Documents and
- Product Literature,
- Product Manuals, circa
- Research and Development
Project Reports, 1959-1964
- Serial Publications,
The Control Data Corporation was incorporated in Minnesota on 8 July
1957 to produce high-speed, scientific computers. The company was headed by
William C. Norris, who had been central to the success of Engineering Research
Associates, Inc., a St. Paul electronics firm that was responsible for
producing Minnesota’s first digital computer. Control Data grew to become one
of the top ten computer manufacturers in the world; it produced among the
fastest computers of their day, including the CDC 6600, designed by Seymour
Cray and generally considered the first supercomputer. The company became known
for its agressive acquisition of other firms, culminating in the purchase of
Commercial Credit Corporation in 1967. The company continued its growth until
the 1980s when a number of factors began deteriorate Control Data’s position in
the industry. In 1986, William Norris resigned as CEO. By 1992 the company had
split into two firms: Ceridian Corporation and Control Data Systems, Inc.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Control Data Corporation Records documents the company's
operations, goals, plans, and products from its inception in 1957 to 1992, and
includes information about CDC's corporate philosophy and long-time president
and CEO (1957-1986), William C. Norris.
Researchers should note that when CDC donated its corporate archives
to the University of Minnesota in 1991, attorneys withheld several files for
further review. These remain gaps in the collection. The collection is also
lacking in its documentation from the last five to ten years of the company's
- This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog
of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about
related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these
William C., 1911-
- Control Data
Corporation -- History -- Sources.
- Control Data
Corporation -- Photograph collections.
- Computer industry -- United
States -- History.
- Computers -- United States --