Department of Computer Science

Computer museum

Computer museum

Since computers haven’t been around for a long time, there should be no problem to document the complete history of their development up to date in a museum. However, although the first programmable computer was built only in 1941, it is virtually impossible to find a reasonably representative selection of artifacts.

Many people think only of their PCs, notebooks or PDAs as computers, but nowadays, a majority of computers are embedded systems, i.e. they are used in complex machines and devices (cars, washing machines, video recorders, cell phones etc.) and often are not even visible.

In our small computer museum at the Wilhelm Schickard Institute we focus on the documentation of two revolutions in computer technology:


The following computers are on display at the WSI:

Location and opening hours

The computer museum is located on the 2nd floor, at the intersection of the three buildings Sand 1, 13, and 14. The museum is open Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm. In special cases it is possible to arrange a guided tour with Prof. Klaeren.

Posters of the exhibition

A short history of DEC (German only)

A short history of PCs, part 1 (German only)

A short history of PCs, part 2 (German only)

Presentation shown at the museum's opening celebration