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Scientific Computing Division (SCD) Records

Identifier:  - 04-SCD
This collection contains records from the Scientific Computing Division (SCD). The collection is organized into 7 distinct series. The collection contains primarily contains correspondence, legal documents, reports, newsletters, VHS tapes and computer artifacts. Newsletters from this collection have been digitized and are avaiable in the NCAR Library's digital repository, OpenSky.


  • 1964-2004
  • Majority of material found in 1986-1999
  • Other: Date acquired: 1984-01-01


Conditions Governing Access

Most of the materials in this collection are open for access. One box in the Supercomputer Purchase Controversy Series covering confidential meetings and subjects are restricted until 2025.

Conditions Governing Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


19.00 Linear Feet


Arrangement is primarily by Chronological order within each series unless this was undecipherable due to lack of dates on materials, in these cases original order is used. The collection is housed in 17 boxes and is arranged into seven main series. Series 1: Scientific Computing Division Series 2: Newsletters Series 3: Super Computer Purchase Controversy Series 4: Bernard O'Lear Files Series 5: Computer Artifacts Series 6: Storage Medium Series 7: VHS tapes Series 8: Oversize

Biographical / Historical

The mission of the Scientific Computing Division (SCD) was to serve the computing, research, and data management needs of atmospheric and related sciences. SCD realized this mission by providing: High-performance computing and expertise needed for the development and execution of large, long-running numerical simulations; A data archiving and management system that is balanced in performance and capacity relative to computational resources; High-speed network and data communication capabilities that are balanced with respect to computational facilities, storage facilities, and the requirements of a national and international community; Research datasets and expertise needed by atmospheric and related sciences; A computing environment and support services that emphasize user productivity and cost-effectiveness; Education and training in computing and related technologies with an emphasis on under-represented groups; and Transfer of appropriate NCAR technology to the private sector in collaboration with the UCAR Foundation. SCD was formed in 1980 and merged with IMAGe into Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) in 2004.

Physical Access Requirements

The collection must be viewed in the Archives during normal business hours.
Technical Access Requirements This collection contains 3.5 inch floppy disks, VHS tapes and other expired computer storage media. At this time the Archives does not have the capability to read these materials.

Source of Acquisition

Scientific Computing Division
Method of Acquisition The records of SCD were given to the UCAR archives by various individuals associated with SCD, including but not limited to Paul Swarztrauber from Computational Support, Bernard T. O'lear, Candace Murray from Outreach, Bob Niff and R. Valent.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in September 2013. The original order of the files was not clearly defined so the Archivist created Series to aid access to the materials, and then organized individual folders and files in chronological order within each series when necessary. If chronological order could not be determined files were kept in original order. Misfiled and loose items were returned to their logical place within the collection. Preservation measures included removing some metal fasteners, plastic GBC binders and re-housing the collection in acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic materials such as notebook paper were buffered with acid-free paper. Artifacts were wrapped in static shielding bags and polyethylene foam sheets for protection agains dust and damage. Routine business records such as travel vouchers and duplications of reports and newsletters and other records with sensitive information, such as social security numbers, were weeded from the collection.
Juliet Robinson

Repository Details

Part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Archives Repository