History of the museum

Museum founders

Jeremy HoltJeremy Holt - Chairman
Jeremy is a Partner in Clark Holt, Commercial Solicitors specialising in computer law. He has written and lectured widely on legal aspects of computing and is regarded as one of the country's leading experts in this field. He lives and works in Swindon.


Simon WebbSimon Webb - Curator
Simon is an independent IT consultant specialising in hand held data collection systems. His passion is for vintage computers from the 70s/80s. He lives and works in Swindon.


The Beginning in Swindon

The first suggestion for a computer museum in Swindon was put forward by Jeremy Holt in 1989 and received encouragement from local computer companies during the next decade.

However, it was only in January 2000 that serious progress was made with the establishment of a Steering Committee and a company limited by guarantee. The advent of the University of Bath and the development of the Oakfield Campus provided a unique opportunity for the proposed museum to be co-located on the Campus. Two members of the Steering Committee were from the University.

When the University left Swindon, the Museum went into storage before moving to its current location at Theatre Square in 2009.

Other Collections

Perhaps the best known display of computer exhibits is in the Science Museum in London. However, the Science Museum aims to cover the whole development of science and technology and the computing element of that must, therefore, always be limited. The Science Museum is an enthusiastic supporter of the Museum of Computing, partly because it would give greater scope for the display of computing exhibits owned by the Science Museum.

The Computer Conservation Society was set up in 1989 as a joint venture between the Science Museum and the British Computer Society. Since then the volunteer efforts of the working parties of the Computer Conservation Society and the efforts of the Science Museum staff have resulted in the successful restoration to working order of a number of early computers. The Computer Conservation Society has no collection of its own and refers historic equipment elsewhere.

The Bletchley Park Trust has done wonders to draw the public's attention to the magnificent work of the code breakers based there in World War Two.

However, there remained a gap – namely a museum devoted exclusively to the development of computers in this country.

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Accredited with ACE

swfed 130

Association of Independent Museums