The Voice in the Machine: Oral History and Making the Computer Relevant

  • Thomas Lean
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 416)


From the beginning computer history has often been more about technical developments than it has been about the social history of the computer and its effects. This paper describes how a greater attention to the social context of developments, representations of technology, the importance of users, software, and other topics, has presented a number of other ways to make computer history relevant rather than concentrating on the machine itself. This paper considers computer history through the medium of oral history, using interviews collected by National Life Stories at the British Library as part of An Oral History of British Science.


computer history social history oral history life stories interviews 

Copyright information

© IFIP Federation for Information Processing 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Lean
    • 1
  1. 1.British LibraryUK

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