The Report was
widely disseminated to
interested parties, and the first detailed paper published on
this work was closely based on it, i.e.
Williams, F C and Kilburn, T : A Storage System for Use with Binary Digital Computing Machines, Proc. IEE, Vol. 96, part 2, No 30, 1949
These pages provide a transcription of the 1947 Report. There is also a covering description for the report, which provides some background, a description of the associated material provided, and summaries of the editing done for the transcription and of the differences between the Report and the 1949 Paper.
The 22 gif figures have been placed in separate files, rather than in situ, to reduce the size of the page being brought up. Links are provided for each reference, and a separate index is provided, to help if you want to study the text more carefully in conjunction with the figures.
The first edition was written by Alan Turing, presumably mostly in the half year gap between the dismantling of the Manchester Mark 1 and the delivery of the Ferranti Mark 1 in February 1951 -- the description makes clear that at the time of writing not all the final details are known of the computer and the system software (e.g. the CRT store size!).
A transcription of the manual, with accompanying notes, has been carried out by Robert S. Thau of MIT. Copies of his transcription in both HTML and PDF are included on this website with his kind permission.
A page-by-page facsimile of the manual can be seen on the The Turing Archive for the History of Computing website maintained at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. A similar facsimile can be seen in The Turing Digital Archive.
A separate Table of Contents for the 1st edition is also provided on this website, on the same page as the Table of Contents for the 2nd edition. This contains the set of section headings and subheadings of the 1st edition, each linked into the appropriate point of the HTML transcription, and it is annotated with numbered links giving the corresponding page in the University of Canterbury facsimile. The manual's index has also been transcribed, with the page numbers turned into links to the facsimile pages.
There is also a summary of the changes made in the Ferranti Mark 1* relative to the Mark 1, and summary tables of the instruction set, both in numerical order and logical order.
There has been some inevitable change in layout and notation in the Mark 1 handbook; also various typographical and technical errors have been corrected. A set of footnotes have been added, of form (8), making comments on some less obvious points in the description and design, and indicating where technical corrections have been made in the original manual. A technical correction has a ! appended, e.g. (5!), where I am confident of the correction; ? indicates I am less sure of a comment or correction.
(Note that at the time the Manchester Mark 1 was referred to as the
"Mark I" to distinguish it from the Ferranti Mark 1, known as
the "Mark II". As can be seen from this selection of papers, there was
no clear naming of the various machines at the time. This website consistently
uses "Mark 1" rather than "Mark I", partly to distance it
from the early confusing naming, and partly to avoid the use of a Roman numeral
that serves little useful purpose)
Mark 1 Story : Introduction, The Baby, Manchester Mark 1, Ferranti Mark 1
Useful Links : Home Page, Picture Gallery
Context : 50th Anniversary pages (The Mark 1 story, Celebrations, Virtual Museum)
at : the School of Computer Science, The University of Manchester
Maintainer : Brian Napper; last updated November 2003