One of the main functions of York University Computer Museum is to initiate, conduct, and support original historical research on the development of the Canadian computing and IT industries and their technological, economic, social, and cultural impact on the Canadian society. Some of the completed and ongoing research projects conducted at YUCoM include:

  •   Canadian Heritage Software Database (ongoing)
    Canada's computing heritage offers a distinctive narrative, chronicling the inception of groundbreaking products and pioneering technologies. It reflects upon leading-edge corporations and small communities of computer enthusiasts, of computer stores, publications, shows, festivals, and other events that played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of computing's development and social acceptance in Canada. Preserving this rich heritage is not only essential for perpetuating its legacy but also crucial for conducting current and future research and delivering high-quality education. Failure to acquire and preserve thousands of fragile magnetic tapes, disks, and other software storarge media within the next 20 to 50 years poses a risk of irretrievable loss.

    To safeguard historically significant Canadian software for the benefit of present and future generations, collaborative stewardship of such software is essential. One of the crucial steps in streamlining nationwide efforts in software collection and preservation is the creation of a centralized, publicly accessible Canadian Heritage Software Database (CHSDB). CHSDB will offer detailed and authoritative information about Canadian heritage software. CHSDB could become an essential tool to minimize redundancy in acquiring and preserving software objects, as well as mitigate the risk of losing historically significant software artifacts due to lack of awareness or insufficient information about them. Apart from serving as a resource hub, CHSDB would help align the collecting and preservation practices of participating institutions, strengthen multi-institutional cooperation, and facilitate knowledge building and sharing.

    CHSDB designeis in its preliminary stage. Try searching for software titles such as APL and Maya.
  •  NABU Network reconstruction project (completed)
    The reconstruction and installation of the NABU Network -- an early commercial computer network to provide high-speed access to information, software, and digital entertainment directly to homes of personal computer (PC) users.
  • NABU Network emulator (ongoing).
    Software emulation of The Nabu Network.
  •  The MCM/70 emulator (completed)
    Software emulation of the Canadian MCM/70 computer (follow the above link for more information).
  •  The MIL CPS-1 emulator (completed)
    Software emulation of the Canadian MIL CPS-1 computer (follow the above link for more information).
  • Computer Hobby Movement in Canada (ongoing)
    The creation of an annotated  database of early Canadian computer clubs and organizations, their publications and activities.

YUCoM collections are available to anyone who wants to consult them for the purpose of research. In most cases, the use of hardware artifacts is restricted due to their age and fragile technical condition

Schedule a research visit. The space limitations of YUCoM's reading room and the fact that all the materials in the YUCoM's collection are non-circulating makes an advanced scheduling of such visits necessary. Please contact YUCoM to schedule your visit.

Off-site research services offered by YUCoM include the search of museum's holdings for specific objects and documents as well as photocopying or scanning documents in full compliance with worldwide copyright laws. These services do not grant copyrights to publish the requested archival materials. Ultimate responsibility for the publication of such materials, in any media, rests with the author and/or publisher.