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The Network Information Center and its Archives
July-September 2010 (vol. 32 no. 3)
pp. 83-89

The NIC was the hub of information exchange on the early Internet. This anecdotal article describes what and how information was exchanged back then and describes the dynamic collaboration that set the tone for how business was carried out on the Internet. It also describes what happened to the NIC archives and how they were preserved for posterity.

1. "The Computer History Museum, SRI International, and BBN Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of First ARPANET Transmission, Precursor to Today's Internet," SRI Int'l, Oct. 2009;
2. "Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, History," DARPA, www.darpa.milhistory.html.
3. "A Brief History of the Internet," Internet Soc., .
4. D.C. Engelbart and W.K. English, "A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect," Proc. AFIPS Conf. Fall Joint Computer Conf., vol. 33, 1968, pp. 395–410
5. D.C. Engelbart, X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System, US patent 3,541,541, to Stanford Research Inst., Patent and Trademark Office, 1970.
6. The NIC project was officially launched by a memo sent by Douglas Engelbart to the 16 Arpanet principal investigators in NIC 4792, 10 Oct. 1972. NIC funding at the time was embedded within a larger research contract held by SRI.
7. Arpanet Network Information Center, "Scenarios for Using the Arpanet at the International Conference on Computer Communication," Stanford Research Inst., 1972.
8. E.J. Feinler and D.S. Maynard, "NIC-Query, A Novice User Interface Program," NIC 35323, 1976.
9. K. Harrenstien et al., NICNAME/WHOIS, RFCs 812 and 954, Mar. 1982 and Oct. 1985.
10. Joshua Lederberg served as a liaison for a short time.
11. S. Crocker, Documentation Conventions, RFC 3, Apr. 1969.
12. J. Postel, NCP/TCP Transition Plan, RFC 801, Nov. 1981.
13. New Host-Host Protocol, RFC 33, Feb. 1970;
14. J. Postel ed., Transmission Control Protocol, RFC 793, Sept. 1981.
15. J. Postel ed., Internet Protocol − DARPA Internet Program Protocol Specification, Sept. 1981.
16. See a memorandum to the secretaries of the military departments, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Directors of the Defense Agencies: R.D. DeLauer, "DoD Policy on Standardization of Host-To-Host Protocols for the Data Communication Networks," IEN 207, Mar. 1982.
17. TCP/IP Vendor's Workshop, Monterey, Calif., 25–27 Aug. 1986. The workshop chair was Dan Lynch of Advanced Computing Environments.
18. DoD Network Newsletter, ANEWS-23, 7 Apr. 1983.
19. P. Mockapetris, Domain Names − Concepts and Facilities, RFC 882, Nov. 1983.
20. P. Mockapetris, Domain Names − Implementation Specification, RFC 883, Nov. 1983.

Index Terms:
History of computing, SRI, DARPA, Network Information Center (NIC), Internet, Arpanet, Defense Data Network (DDN)
Elizabeth Feinler, "The Network Information Center and its Archives," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 83-89, July-Sept. 2010, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2010.54
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