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Oxford University, 1962-1975, n.d.


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This series traces the formation and expansion of the Programming Research Group under Strachey's leadership, and also includes some material relating to Wolfson College of which he was a Fellow.

The Programming Research Group was established at Oxford to investigate the general theory of information processing and the nature of computing machines. After an unsuccessful initial application by Strachey directly to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research for a grant to establish such a group (MS. Eng. misc. b. 254/B.2), Leslie Fox, Director of the Oxford University Computing Laboratory, applied in September 1964 on Strachey's behalf for a grant of £194,506 over 7œ years (MS. Eng. misc. b. 254/B.4). In January 1965 a grant was awarded for £62,750 for the period 1 July 1965 to 31 July 1967. This original grant was extended and supplemented by the Science Research Council (successor to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) over the years; when Strachey submitted his final report to the Science Research Council in May 1974, the funding totalled £224,900. Although the grant officially began on 1 July 1965, Strachey did not take up his post as leader of the Programming Research Group until April 1966. He became Reader in Computation in 1967 and Professor of Computation in 1971. He was elected a Fellow of Wolfson College in 1966 (MS. Eng. misc. b. 255/B.27).

The many Progress Reports and descriptions of the Programming Research Group and its work illustrate the emergence of the Group's 'worldwide reputation as a centre both of theoretical work in the formal semantics of programming languages and of experimental work on operating systems and virtual machine design' (MS. Eng. misc. b. 254/B.9).

The interview with Strachey published in Dataweek (MS. Eng. misc. b. 248/A.2) gives an informal account of the Programming Research Group.


  • Creation: 1962-1975, n.d.

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. misc. b. 254/B.1-255/B.30

Related Materials

See also:

  1. MS. Eng. misc. b. 253/A.68,
  2. MS. Eng. misc. b. 273/C.202-MS. Eng. misc. b. 277/C.274.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom