Mathematical Tables and [other] Aids to Computation. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council, January 1943-October 1959. Vol 1, no 1 to Vol 13, no 68.
13 volumes. 8vo. Period library buckram with nearly all original green wrappers bound in. Back wrappers occasionally bound at front as index leaves. Library markings, occasional damp-wrinkling to contents, light rubbing to bindings; very good.
Provenance: National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Library, (later the NASA Library), Langley, Virginia (with library markings, including spine imprints).
THE LANGLEY FIELD NASA SET OF THE FIRST COMPUTING JOURNAL, COMPLETE RUN. (The publication was renamed Mathematics of Computation effective January 1960.) "[D]uring the decade 1943 to 1953 MTAC was the only journal devoted to the publication of articles concerning the development of computing machinery. That was the period during which the great advances took place in the development of computers, ushering in the dawn of the computer age" (Annals of the History of Computing, fall 1995, p 67).
Although the publication had its origins in the World War II focus on mathematical tables, from the very first issues it included notes on calculating machines and differential analyzers. With the end of the War, MTAC began to publish on the most important developments of the day, including short notes and definitive pieces on the Bell Labs computers, EDSAC, IBM SSEC, the Zuse computer, Comrie's "Application of Commercial Calculating Machines to Scientific Computing," and many others. Present is the landmark July 1946 article in MTAC by Goldstine and Goldstine on the ENIAC (see lot 166). R.C. Archibald, a professor at Brown and founding editor of MTAC, organized the first conference on high-speed computing at MIT in October 1945nine months before the Moore School Lectures. MTAC reported on the program and the attendees a "Who's Who" of the history of digital computing (April 1946 issue).
"As it dealt with a highly specialized topic, MTAC was mailed to a very small readership. By its third year of publication, 1946, its subscription list was only 350 readers" (OOC). The rarity of this work is underscored by the fact that this set belonged to NACA/NASA. It bears their Langley Field Library binding and internal accession stamps. Origins of Cyberspace 777 (also contains separate entries for at least 19 articles published in MTAC). See also Grier, "The Rise and Fall of the Committee on Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Calculation," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, spring 2001, p 45.