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The Konrad Zuse Internet Archive Project

Konrad Zuse was a German computer pioneer who developed and built several computing machines (i.a. Z1, Z2, Z3 and Z4) in the time from 1935 to 1945 that are recognized to be among the first computers worldwide. He used mechanical means and telephone relays to build freely programmable binary floating-point calculators. Furthermore he developed the 'Plankalkül', one of the first high level programming languages. In 1941 Zuse founded a enterprise that was one of the first commercial computer production companies in the world. Due to WWII for a long time only few people knew about Zuse's work. Find out more about Konrad Zuse.

In the Konrad Zuse Internet Archive Project the private papers of Konrad Zuse are digitized, analysed and published. In 2010 the year of Zuse's 100th birthday the Konrad Zuse Internet Project was launched by computer science professor Raúl Rojas. It is following up a previous project from 1999 until 2001. The original documents from Zuse's private papers include technical drawings, photos and various documents, some of which are written in shorthand. The originals and the master copies of the digitized images are stored at the archives of Deutsches Museum. The project includes of a cooperation of the Institute of Computer Science at the Freie Universität Berlin and the archives of Deutsches Museum and is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG). You can find more details about the partners and collaborators of the projects here or view the digitized documents.

With the digitization of Konrad Zuse's private papers the project contributes to the preservation of cultural heritage. By publishing the documents online the project tries to support a better understanding of modern computers that became ubiquitous on the one hand but opaque in their operational functionality to most users on the other. The early computers of Zuse worked with similar abstract concepts as modern computers but they are easier to understand because they were bigger, less complex and slower.

The mostly unpublished material of the private papers was digitized to be published on the internet. Thus the research endeavor of the project is engaged in engineering subjects as well as in digital humanities matters. The project uses Open Access guidelines and supports the Berlin Declaration.


The images of the archive and the information about them (the so-called metadata) are managed by the open source online repository software imeji. It is developed by the Max Planck Digital Library and associated partner institutions to which the project belongs. You can find more information about imeji on


Please use the following email address if you wish to contact us.

If you are interested in the original documents of the digital images that are labeled with 'Location of Original: Deutsches Museum' please refer to this email address: