On Wednesday 5th February 2003 the UK’s first computer museum opened. The Museum of Computing, based in Theatre Square, Swindon, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a robotics theme, and hosting a party on the 8th of July 2013, which is sponsored by redheadPR at Swindon Central Library.
There will be a new interactive exhibition of robotics at the museum, which will run for six months and a talk on state-of-the-art robotics sponsored by the information technology giant, Intel.
Other events will include a Lego robotics programming day at the museum, where people can drop in and have hands-on experience of programming to control a robot.
Simon Webb, the museum curator said “What an astonishing 10 years it has been. We have created a vibrant interactive museum, which is run by an enthusiastic team of volunteers. We have engaged with the community and assisted with the education of today’s generation of computer enthusiasts. Every year there are seismic changes in technology, and we have captured an impressive catalogue of hardware, documenting its incredible development. This is going to be a fantastic year for the museum with a huge amount of activity and growth. We look forward to exhibiting today’s cutting edge technological developments.”
In 2005 The Guardian newspaper listed the Museum of Computing as one of the top 25 museums to visit in the country, rivalling the Science Museum in London. Visitors to the museum have included Sir Clive Sinclair in 2006 and the Duke of Kent in 2007, and there is a constant stream of visitors from around the globe.
The Museum of Computing has been on television and radio, from BBC Breakfast TV, to Regional TV, America’s CNN and BBC World Service, and is used as a source for leading publishers and researchers in the sector.
There have been many exhibitions and events during the past ten years. These have included a human Pacman game in Swindon’s Wharf Green, which was projected onto a giant screen, and “Retro Gaming Days” exhibiting gaming classics like Super Mario, Space Invaders, Nintendo, Atari, and Sonic the Hedgehog. The Museum has also hosted exhibitions of the Bombe and Enigma code breaker from Bletchley Park, and talks on various subjects such as “The History of the Calculator”.
The Museum of Computing opened its doors in 2003 at the University of Bath in Swindon, and thanks to the generosity of Intel and much goodwill from others, including local businesses, councillors, other museums and volunteers, it was able to build an excellent reputation globally.
In 2008 the museum faced a dilemma: the University of Bath closed their premises in Swindon, leaving the museum without a home, but rescue came when Swindon Borough Council offered the location of Theatre Square in the centre of Swindon. The museum’s reputation was further enhanced in 2012 when it was awarded full accreditation from the Arts Council England.
Weekly events include a children’s computer club, where they learn to program, build robots and take part in various scientific experiments. This has proved so popular there is now a waiting list. The museum also runs the Swindon Hackspace where people with an interest in technology can get together and share ideas and resources to build, program and learn.
The Museum of Computing was the first dedicated computer museum in the UK, opening in 2003. It is a not-for-profit Company limited by guarantee and is run entirely by volunteers. The museum has a collection of over 3000 objects related to the history of computing and holds regular exhibitions and events.
- The museum is in Swindon town centre at 6-7 Theatre Square, Swindon SN1 1QN
- Opening times are: Fridays from 10:00-16:00 and Saturdays from 9.30am to 5 pm. There is a classroom for talks, PC clinics, gaming events and school visits.
- Admission fees are: £5.00 for a family ticket, £2 for adults, £1.50 for Students and Concessions, children age 6-15 yrs cost £1, children under five enter free. All children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. We welcome school parties and private groups by appointment.
- Clark Holt Commercial Solicitors ( www.clarkholt.com)
- Intel UK ( www.intel.com)
- Silent-G Design ( www.silent-g.co.uk)
- Shepherd Consulting ( http://www.shepherdconsulting.co.uk/)
- Dennis's Removals and Storage ( www.dennissremovals.co.uk)
- redheadPR ( www.redheadpr.co.uk)
The museum is supported by the following organisations:
- Wiltshire Branch of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT ( www.@wiltshirebcs.org )
For details contact:
Curator, Museum of Computing
Mobile +44 (0)7834 375628