History for Sale

*Sigh* I had been sitting on this link to the Christie’s auction of the Origins of Cyberspace collection for a week, not getting around to posting it, but I guess it’s old news now. The collection is amazing, and I actually hope that a group will be able to purchase the whole thing to keep it together (and presumably display it). If not, one starts asking how much they would pay for a copy of the original notes from Godel’s lecture “On undecidable propositions of formal mathematical systems”. Estimated at $2000! Or pick up a 1920’s IBM manual for only $1200! A first edition of the Newell, Shaw & Simon paper on chess playing programs at $1500! First edition Turing on “Computing machinery and intelligence”? $3000. Or go whole hog on the $10,000 first edition of Shannon’s master’s thesis. Old books are one of my weaknesses, and the thought of actually owning some of these things makes me drool. Mmmmmmm … von Neumann…..

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