University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Cybernetics Thought Collective (Digital Surrogates)

The Cybernetics Though Collective Project provides access to digitized correspondence and records from four institutions holding collections related to the history of Cybernetics. These materials were digitized when the University of Illinois Archives was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a prototype web-portal and analysis-engine to provide access to archival material related to the development of the iconic, multi-disciplinary field of cybernetics. "The Cybernetics Thought Collective: A History of Science and Technology Portal Project" is a collaborative effort among several academic units at the University of Illinois (U of I) and three other institutions that also maintain archival records vital to the exploration of cybernetic history: the British Library, the American Philosophical Society, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to supporting the development of a web-portal and analysis-engine, the award enabled the multi-institutional team to digitize some of the archival records related to the pioneering work of U of I Electrical Engineering Professor Heinz von Foerster and his fellow cyberneticians W. Ross Ashby (also a former U of I Electrical Engineering faculty member), Warren S. McCulloch, and Norbert Wiener.

This collection is managed by the University of Illinois Archives and does not feature precise descriptive information for each item. Discover its contents by browsing the folders and files. For more information, contact an archivist at