The Doug Engelbart Archive 0

Overview 1

   Watch highlights from the
"Mother of All Demos" (1968)

Welcome to "Living History" - the main portal page to the Doug Engelbart Archive Collection and Virtual Exhibits. Here you can learn about his and his team's many accomplishments and considerable archive records spanning a lifetime of prolific pioneering visionary pursuit. This comprehensive collection of historic texts, photos, video footage, and artifacts is curated across multiple institutions. Refer to the Table of Contents (left panel) to browse by media type, by institution, or by stories and exhibits about his vision, his pioneering firsts and special historic events. 1a

For a quick tour of the Archives, watch Learnings from a Life's Work: The Doug Engelbart Archives – a 20-minute overview by daughter/Co-Founder Christina Engelbart of (1) Doug's seminal work, (2) this archive initiative, and (3) how that work informs next-generation information technology – presented at the Internet Archive's 2011 Conference on Personal Digital Archiving. 1b

Online Exhibits 2

   Watch highlights of Doug's career

Story of a True Pioneer 2a

Watch the video shorts offered at right and below. See also A Lifetime Pursuit - a short biographical sketch of Doug Engelbart's career, including his vision, inspiration, accomplishments, and strategic approach – how and why he did it all.

See below for additional Doug Engelbart Oral Histories, including those recorded and curated by the Smithsonian Institute and Stanford Libraries Special Collections, as well as the Computer History Museum.

Watch Doug's Oral History (2002)

  Watch a tour of the Archives in
"Learnings from a Life's Work" (2011)

Pioneering Firsts

These pioneering firsts were in full operational use within Doug's lab by the mid to late 1960s, in a unified system called NLS, informed by co-evolving methodologies, practices, learnings, and paradigms. See also Pioneering Firsts in A Lifetime Pursuit for a bulleted list of firsts.

scan cover of 1962 report on Augmenting Human Intellect
Doug's Big Idea
from Augmenting Human Intellect to Bootstrapping our Collective IQ

screenshot Doug 1968 demo
1968 Demo
the "Mother of All Demos"
watch highlightslearn more

photo Doug and colleage at work
Knowledge Work
using computers for knowledge work – planning, designing, researching, etc. – was novel

photo Doug interacting with computer using mouse, keyset, headset
Interactive Computing
the dawn of interactive and personal computing in a punch-card era

photo original mouse
The Mouse
learn how and why Doug Engelbart invented the mouse, with links to more

photo keyset device
The Keyset
to enter commands with one hand while your other hand points and clicks

screenshot of Doug 1968 using hypermedia
Structured Hypertext
to easily link to and zoom in and out of detail to better match the human brain

photo of Doug in computer supported meeting 1967
meeting support, video conferencing, and other key provisions for online collaboration

rough diagram of first 4 nodes on ARPAnet includes SRI
ARPAnet / Internet
the first transmission between two sites, first to support online communities

photo of lead engineer Bill English using NLS
NLS / Augment
the system that integrated all these capabilities in a unified environment

photo Doug and team in meeting
Human "System"
changes in process, paradigms, attitudes, skills, etc. were also rigorously explored

Augmenting Tool & Human System, Co-Evolution, Bootstrapping
Innovation Strategy
Doug's strategy to accelerate continuous improvement became part of his team's DNA

Items Archived 3

Photos 2a

Videos 2b

  • 1968 Demo - our portal page to the "Mother of All Demos" video, links, retrospectives, and more
  • 2b1
  • Engelbart Videography - showcasing selected videos available to view online
  • 2b2
  • Engelbart Video Archive Collection - NEW! the Internet Archive now offers for online viewing an extensive video collection of Engelbart's lectures, demos, interviews, and TV appearances dating back to 1968
  • 2b3

Oral Histories 2c

Equipment 2d

Image of the original mouse

Texts 2e

Slides 2f

Software 2g

  • We also maintain and continue to use a working version of NLS/Augment software on a Sun server, as well as various iterations of the Augment client software, including AugTerm and Visual AugTerm (VAT). Augment and AugTerm are also being preserved by the Software Preservation Projects.
  • 2g1
  • The HyperScope software, developed by the Doug Engelbart Institute in 2006 under an NSF grant to extend the standard browser with the precision browsing and viewing features first demonstrated in Augment/NLS, is documented at
  • 2g2
  • Watch Demos of the NLS/Augment software given by Doug Engelbart and members of his team dating back to 1968, including what is now known as the "Mother of All Demos."
  • 2g3

Websites 2h

Press 2i

  • Press Clippings - comprehensive listing of press articles about Doug and his work dating back to the 1970s.
  • 2k1

Special Collections by Institution 4

About the Engelbart Archive Initiative 5

The Doug Engelbart Archive Collection documents the life's work, vision and accomplishments of Doug Engelbart. This is an ongoing initiative of the Doug Engelbart Institute, in collaboration with SRI International, Sun Labs, Internet Archive, New Media Consortium, and distinguished volunteers from Doug's alumni group, to preserve for historic interest, and to inform a next generation. The initial thrust of this Initiative has been to gather, sift through, catalog, digitize, and upload archival documents, video footage, photos, and digital files for preservation and broad-based accessibility. We are currently working with 2,000+ digitized historic photos, 150+ digitized video tapes, plus dozens of digitized papers. This work complements the existing comprehensive collections at Stanford University Libraries Special Collections, and the Computer History Museum. 5a

To get a flavor of what it's like to piece together the context and stories hidden in the subtexts of a massive archive collection, see Christina's blogpost A Day in the Life of a Personal Archivist, as well as Tim Lenoir's Final Report on the Stanford MouseSite Project. 5b

Highlights of the Archive Collections

Doug Engelbart pictured in 1967 meeting using NLS to facilitate
Historic Photos

Doug Engelbart picctred in 1969 demo

Doug Engelbart picutred in 1968 demo
Texts - Papers - Documents

NLS display

See it all under Items Archived and Archives by Institution