Collections

The Robot Archive aims to tell the stories of robotics.

Our intent is to capture a wide breadth of records about the research, impact, and lived experience of the robotics community at Carnegie Mellon. Through this process, we will establish a model for archiving and curating complex, multi-modal technology collections, capturing the rigorous scientific and artistic processes undertaken by roboticists in the field through archival and media records.

The records are housed in the University Archives where they are open for use by students, faculty, and researchers. Confidential or sensitive materials are sealed until the restriction period expires. Archivists work closely with donors to determine appropriate restrictions. 

The Robot Archive will present unrestricted materials in exhibitions, digital collections, and a variety of publicly accessible venues. 

What We Collect


Currently our collecting activity centers on the legacies of William (Red) L. Whittaker and the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon. From this initial base, the scope will expand to include the breadth of robotics affiliated with CMU. 

We collect records in all formats analog and digital regardless of obsolescence. We are actively seeking material of historical value in the following general categories:

Robots
Such as hardware from prototypes, decommissioned models, parts, accessories, modules, and the tools used to make them. 

Research
Such as research proposals, software, code, data, lab notebooks, and technical documentation. 

Communications
Such as reports, policies and procedures, meeting minutes, correspondence, websites, emails, and course/instructional material.

Promotional
Such as announcements, websites, newsletters, event and conference programs, conference proceedings, lectures, presentations, and speeches. 

Multimedia
Such as audio and video recordings, photographs, scrapbooks, interviews, and oral histories.

Have materials to donate? 


Contact us archives@andrew.cmu.edu for a consultation with an archivist. We will answer your questions and review the donation process with you.

For More Information About Collecting for the Robot Archive


Katherine Barbera
Archivist and Oral Historian, University Libraries
412.268.5029 | kbarbera@andrew.cmu.edu