Preserve, Educate, Empower
CMoA’s mission is to preserve examples of the computing artifacts that contributed to the digital revolution, to catalog these historically important artifacts, and record their surrounding history. Our goal is to ensure these assets are available for study, for exhibition, for education, and to encourage economic and vocational empowerment.
To anchor and inspire a larger community of educators, makers, entrepreneurs, academic institutions and businesses that can benefit from CMoA’s facilities. We seek to reveal lessons from the history of computing to the widest possible audience, and empower generations of students, entrepreneurs, workers, and educators to excel.
Computing history is worthy of preservation and study in its own right. Our core conviction is that the history of computing contains many revelations about human innovation and creative problem solving. We especially embrace making technology careers accessible to everyone, including underserved populations.
Developed from the passions of an avid lover of computers and technology over a period of 40 years, CMoA has evolved into one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of computing artifacts, preserving the history of computing for future generations. These artifacts of the digital revolution are beautiful and valuable in their own right, and even more valuable as a permanent record of the innovation process and market experiments that drove discovery forward. From this collection we have curated engaging exhibits to share the stories from the history of computing, while also allowing us to loan rare artifacts to other museums including the Smithsonian Institution.
Over the past several years, CMoA has continued the process of formally archiving our collection, while working on exciting plans to share it with a broader audience. We staged temporary pop-up exhibits, LINK – The History of the PC, and The Apple Pop-Up, highlighting both artifacts and stories to bring history to life, and allowing us to gather feedback to incorporate in our plans to move to a permanent facility.
Our core belief is that by preserving the past we can inspire the future.
Before the idea of a permanent space was a reality, over the past several years, CMoA has opened for a series of private shows and events in a “vintage” Comp USA building in Roswell, GA. These temporary “pop-up exhibits” served as a “test kitchen” for feedback, input and response from visitors, and informed the plans to develop the museum’s ultimate design and location.
The Apple Pop-Up
The Apple Pop-Up Exhibit followed the journey of Apple from its founding in a garage to becoming one of the most innovative and influential companies in the world. The exhibit shared stories of some of the remarkable individuals who built Apple and featured rare artifacts such as an Apple 1, the first disk II and controller card, the Apple II and the original Lisa.
LINK - History of the PC
The LINK exhibit documented the innovation and rise of the personal computer. The exhibit took visitors from the present day, through the wild-west beginnings of the PC when commonly known standards were still evolving and ended with a viewing of a Kenbak-1, considered to be the first PC. It showcased artifacts born from the race for faster processing, larger storage, and smaller device size including the original IBM PC, Apple II, TRS-80 and Commodore 64.
While considering future exhibits to showcase at our permanent location, CMoA has also created a number of other pop-up exhibits over the past several years, allowing visitors to explore the history of minicomputers, the expansive world of VR, and a retrospective view of Apple at 40. Each exhibit was curated to tell a unique story through use of artifacts, documentation and hands-on experience.
From room-size supercomputers to minis, peripherals, and one of the world’s broadest collections of personal computers from a vast number of manufacturers. Many rare prototypes and one-offs are represented.
CMoA holds a formidable collection of historical Operating Systems, Application Programs, Games, Databases and Customized Systems across a variety of platforms & media.
CMoA has an expansive collection of documentation including: Artwork, Periodicals, Books, Engineering Drawings, Corporate Memos & Correspondence, and Operating Manuals.
Commerce and Culture
Beyond tech, the collection includes many non-hardware products produced to motivate engineering teams, marketing campaigns for product launches, and sales promotions.
In addition to creating a unique environment of vibrant exhibitions, CMoA will give back through education and community engagement, providing the next generation with access to information, tools, and inspiration to become the leaders of the future.
What if the rising generation could learn how to innovate—by seeing the history of computing laid out clearly? What if the fundamentals of innovative thinking could become easily accessible and used to start more companies and empower more people? What if teaching and mentoring about innovation could be made visual, engaging, and easily applied to each student’s life?
We aspire to create an environment that will make that future a reality.
Our Future Vision Includes:
- A Tech Village
- Office of the Future—the next level of co-working
- Education programming: Coding classes, robotics, gaming
- Spaces for makers
- Social spaces—coffee shop