6 months ago

Sotheby’s: The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

Sotheby’s is showcasing The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing in London from Friday 14 Sep to 17 Sep 2018.

Erwin Tomash co-founded Dataproducts Corporation in the 1960. His company became famous for manufacturing large disk drives and storage.

After leaving Dataproducts, Tomash helped create the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota, which became a leading archive of computing-related papers .

Raspberry Pi is a proud part of that history of computing, and here at The MagPi we like to think the ‘little board that can’ stands on the shoulders of giants that did.

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing auction

Mubashshir ibn Ahmad al-Razi

A previously unrecorded copy of an unknown treatise on mathematics by Mubashir Ibn Ahmad al-Razi (d.1193),

The computing collection is so fascinating we thought you’d like to hear about it (and perhaps take a closer look):

According to Sotheby’s:

In its scope and subject matter, Erwin Tomash’s collection is unlike any other to have been offered at auction. The library represents a lifetime’s fascination with the development across the ages of the modern-day computer, including calculation, astronomy, navigation, mensuration and related subjects. It ranges from medieval and renaissance works on arithmetic, finger-reckoning and the abacus, to the birth in the twentieth century of theoretical and practical computer science under Alan Turing. On the way, it encompasses major breakthroughs in the measurement of space and time by Apianus, Galileo, Kepler and others, the development of complex logarithmic, volumetric and trigonometrical calculations, and early and later scientific instruments such as sectors, slide-rules, astrolabes and quadrants, including Napier’s bones and Babbage’s famous difference engine.

Sotheby’s has an online catalogue of all the items up for auction and you can download the print catalogue in PDF format. The auction will take place on 18-19 September 2017.

Galilei, Galileo (1564-1642)

Girolamo Cappello (1544-1611), presentation inscription in Galileo’s hand