In 1948, the Board of Trustees purchased an EDVAC electronic digital computer for research program use. The project was originally situated in the Digital Computer Laboratory, where instruction in computer hardware took place. In 1964, the name was changed from the Digital Computer Laboratory to the Department of Computer Science. In addition to the Computer Science Department, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), created in February 1985, provides integrated cyberinfrastructure services to the university community while also serving as a transdisciplinary center for research and scholarship.
The University Archives houses records that chronicle the history of computing in teaching and research both at the University of Illinois and within its interdisciplinary reach. While the records of the Department of Computer Science provide a starting point for resources on this topic, information on computing is found throughout many different record groups.
A complete list of Department of Computer Science record series is available in the Archives database.
The following records from the Computer-based Education Research Laboratory document the development and use of the PLATO system at the University. CERL was established in 1966 within the Graduate College in order to facilitate the development and research of computer-based education.