Archiving LISP history

Based on the progress I’ve made with FORTRAN, I decided to start another effort at the Computer History Museum to track down source code and documents for the original M.I.T. LISP I/1.5 project. I have made some progress, and am assembling a LISP web site at the Museum to organize and present the materials I’ve collected so far, including:

  • LISP 1.5: Assembly listing for IBM 709/7090 standalone system, and also CTSS port. Information about various other ports and reimplementations including Univac M-460, Q-32, Univac 1108.
  • PDP-1 Lisp: links to the documentation, source code and simulators
  • MacLisp (PDP-6, PDP-10): links to documentatation and source code
  • BBN-LISP: the manual for the original PDP-1 version and the Tenex version (coming soon: preliminary specifications for the 940 version)
  • and many more.

As always, your comments are welcome. What am I missing? What facts have I gotten wrong? Please help fill in the gaps.

[Edited 10 May 2014: =>]

4 thoughts on “Archiving LISP history”

  1. Just a minor thing, really, but you could add the website for the Lispworks common lisp compiler.

    Thanks so much for putting these resources together in an easy to read collection; I have been reading AI memos all day instead of working.

  2. First — thanks a lot, this is awesome.

    Second, there’s some entertaining videos I linked to at

    (In particular, I think you’ll like that first link to Bobrow’s CLOS talk, which is properly about the history of CLOS’s standardization.)

    Also, _Interactive Programming Environments_ has a number of good influential Lisp papers, including the little debate between text vs structured editing (Emacs vs Interlisp), and a demonstration of “The Lisp Experience” where the author talked about incremental bottom-up programming and other such styles.

  3. excellent work.

    I particulary like the Video section.
    I didn’t know
    There is some gems there.

    I like also to see that the mythical lisp 1.5 manual is online.
    In that respect you should perhaps put this reference:
    John McCarthy, Paul W. Abrahams, Daniel J. Edwards, Timothy P. Hart, Michael I. Levin. Lisp 1.5 P rogrammer’s Manual. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1962. HTML MIT Press
    closer to the picture of the lisp manual (and especially the link toward the html online version).

    It would be great if we would also have a book section containing the mythical book about lisp,
    and online access. For instance I would like very much to read the interlisp book. But
    You may not have the power to influence the editors of such books.

    Again, thank you very much.

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