Records in this accession document various aspects of Prof. Gotlieb’s career as a leading computer scientist. Most notably early correspondence, association files, publication files and research files document not only Gotlieb’s early work and contributions but shed light on the early development of computer technology in Canada, the emergence of computer scientists as a profession and their subject expertise as a discipline of academic study. Researchers wishing to study these early developments will find these records a rich source.
Several series in this accession document Gotlieb’s work in professional associations and these include Series IV Professional Associations and Series V Conference, Talks and Seminars as well as Series II Correspondence. These records would be useful to anyone researching these associations as well as the relationships among professional computer scientists.
This accession also contains records relating to Gotlieb’s wider social advocacy. For example, Series 9 has records relating to Science for Peace and several Jewish groups. Certain talks and events documented in Series V also give evidence to his active participation in advocacy groups and often, as is the case for many academics, the lines between his role as a scientist is intertwined with his role as a responsible citizen. Thus, researchers will note many of his talks deal with ethics, social responsibility, and consequences of technology.
This accession is only one of three held by the University Archives and therefore has large gaps in documentation. For most records relating to the early Computation Centre, acquisitions of computer hardware for the University of Toronto, and Gotlieb’s overall role in University administration researchers will need to consult B1988-0069. Teaching files in this newest accession document mainly courses in the 1970s and 1980s while the same series of records in B1988-0069 document the early courses developed and taught by Gotlieb. While this accession gives good documentation on Gotlieb’s role in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), much of his international work in organizations such as International Federation of Information Processing Societies (IFIP) and UNESCO is documented in B1988-0069. For records specifically on his involvement in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology and with the Ontario Centre for Large Scale Computing, researchers need to consult accession B1994-0022.
Finally, this accession has several photographs of early computer installations at the University depicting technology that was unique to the world at that time. Included are images of the experimental computer UTEC that was being developed by Gotlieb, Dr. Josef Kates and Dr. Harvey Gellman in the late 1940s, as well at the FERUT (Ferranti Electronic computer) - the first electronic computer to be purchased anywhere. This was in 1952.