First Draft of the Programming Language COBOL

During 1959 the first plans for the computer language COBOL emerged as a result of meetings of several committees and subcommittees of programmers from American business and government. This heavily annotated typescript was prepared during a special meeting of the language subcommittee of the Short-Range Committee held in New York City in November. COBOL programs would actually run the following summer, and the same program was successfully tested on computers of two different manufacturers in December 1960.
Reference: Jean E. Sammet, "The Early History of COBOL," History of Programming Languages, ed. Richard L. Wexelblat, New York: Academic Press, 1981, 199-277.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Conference on Data Systems Languages. Language Subcommittee of the Short-Range Committee
Physical Description
plastic (container material)
metal (container material)
paper (inside material)
overall: 12 in x 10 in x 1 3/4 in; 30.48 cm x 25.4 cm x 4.445 cm
Place Made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Computers & Business Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Courtesy of Howard Bromberg
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

2/19/2014 4:32:05 AM
António Barata
Hello Is it possible to scan the whole document, and put it online. It is a part of Computer Sciences at a very early stage. Thank you so much António
2/19/2014 11:14:53 AM
John Melcher, Jr.
A really valuable document for the historian or the curious. A complete scan of the document would be valuable.
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