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Pamela McCorduck Collection

Identifier: 1978-0001

Scope and Content Note

The Pamela McCorduck Collection is housed in three archival boxes and are arranged in three series. The series designated are Project Materials; Transcripts, Research and Related Materials; and Audio Cassettes- Oral History Interviews. The collection includes correspondence, interview transcripts, articles and other published and unpublished documents, and audio tape cassettes.

The collection is made up primarily of interview transcripts and related research materials in the form of articles provided to McCorduck by the interviewee. The remaining bulk of the collection is the audio cassettes of the actual interviews. The remaining material relates to the artificial intelligence oral history project as a whole.

Please note that the transcripts and any related materials for the Allen Newell interviews are part of the Allen Newell Collection, a collection of digitized material from the Newell Collection. Access to the Allen Newell Collection is through The interview transcripts (5) and related material can be found by searching under the term "Pamela McCorduck project." The transcripts are not available in the Pamela McCorduck Collection.


  • 1972-1979



The interviews, transcripts and audio cassettes, that are available without restrictions are: Bruce Buchanan, Hubert L. Dreyfus, Julian Feldman, H. L. Gelernter, I. J. Good, Allen Newell, Seymour Papert, Herbert Simon, and Joseph Weizenbaum

All other interviews, transcripts and audio cassettes, are available for research only. Publication of these interviews are restricted by current copyright law.

Use of the audio tapes is restricted pending preservation decisions.

Records History

Pamela McCorduck conducted a series of oral history interviews with researchers involved in artificial intelligence (AI) during 1974 and 1975. The project was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The interviews resulted in McCorduck's book Machines Who Think: A Personal Inquiry into the History and Prospects of Artificial Intelligence (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1979). The collection includes interviews with Carnegie Mellon researchers Allen Newell and Herbert Simon. In total, McCorduck conducted interviews with thirty-six scientists: Paul Armer, Alex Bernstein, W.W. Bledsoe, Ted Brain, Bruce Buchanan, Max Clowes, L. Stephen Coles, Hubert Dreyfus, Edward Feigenbaum, Julian Feldman, Edward Fredkin, Herbert Gelernter, I.J. Good, Leon Harmon, John McCarthy, Donald MacKay, Donald Mitchie, Marvin Minsky, Joel Moses, Allen Newell, Nils Nilsson, Seymour Papert, Bertram Raphael, Raj Reddy, Nathaniel Rochester, Charles Rosen, Arthur Samuel, Oliver Selfridge, Claude Shannon, J.C. Shaw, Herbert A. Simon, James Slagle, Ray Solomonoff, Fred Tonge, Joseph Weizenbaum, and Lofti Zadeh. The interviews look at each scientists' involvement in artificial intelligence. The book traces the evolution of artificial intelligence from its history and beginning to its current state (as of 1979) and its future.


3.0 Linear feet (3 boxes)




This collection consists of 3 linear feet of scripts and audio tapes of interviews on the history of artificial intelligence, which were conducted in 1974-75. Among those interviewed are Allen Newell and Herbert Simon. Transcripts of these interviews and other related materials are available online in the Allen Newell and Herbert Simon digital collections.

Physical Location

Physical Location


This collection of transcripts, audio cassettes and related materials was donated to the Carnegie Mellon University Archives by Pamela McCorduck in September 1978.


All of the audio cassettes are located in Box 3 of 3 of the Pamela McCorduck Collection.


The Pamela McCorduck Collection was processed by Hillary Bober in April 2002.
McCorduck, Pamela (1940- ) Collection 1972-1979 1974-1975 1978.01
June 3, 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Carnegie Mellon University Archives Repository

4909 Frew St
Pittsburgh PA 15213
(412) 268-5021