Department of Computer Science and Technology

The Relics Project

The Relics Project Database

The database contains details of over 150 artifacts ranging from turn of the century calculating machines, through pieces of our early electronic machines (EDSAC I and II), to bits and pieces built for specific research projects, or extracted from interesting commercial machines.

There are also still significant holes in the database, being filled as time permits. All information and photographs on pages produced by this Search facility are copyright © University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, 1999. All rights reserved.

There are three alternative selection methods:

  • Name: Select by name, which may match more than one artifact. (Case insensitive, it will match some substring of the name, eg "reader" will match on "Creed paper tape reader", "Elliot tape reader" and "Paper tape reader".)
  • Machine:
    Class: Select by the name of the machine the artifact is associated with (if applicable), and by class. These selections will be ANDed together and may match more than one artifact.
  • Uid: Select using the Unique Identifier of the artifact (see Notes below) if known.

To submit the query, press this button: .
To clear the form, press this button: .


  • Identifiers are written on objects in the format uuu/yy/gg (u = unique identifier, y = year of acquisition or entry into database, g = group id. The group id is only used if there are more than one of a given object.) eg 80/99/3. This format was adopted to make the identifiers from this exercise distinct from any used in previous cataloguing attempts.
  • Photographs. Where relevant the database contains a comma-separated list of Unix path names of pictures of the object, in jpeg format. If photos are available a thumbnail image will be shown as a search result. Click on this to see the full size image.
  • Date format:
  • Name format: Full first name (where known), else initial and surname
  • Dimensions: max x next x min (all in mm)
  • Lists in all fields are comma separated.
  • n/a = not applicable
    blank = no information entered
    ? = information uncertain or unknown
    The database search allowed by this page is selective and will only display information that is present. ie it will not display labels for empty fields.
  • Not all information in the database is displayed on the web page produced by this search facility, some of it is private (eg location of object, for security reasons).
  • The Notes section of the database may contain html formatting commands to allow it to be displayed to best advantage on the web pages output by this search facility.