Charles Babbage's notebooks, 1857.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Notebooks compiled by the computing pioneer, Charles Babbage (1791-1871), with notes written in July 1857. Babbage kept informal work books known as 'scribbling books' or 'sketchbooks'. These document his designs, exploratory schemes and other deliberations. The volumes collectively contain between 6,000 and 7,000 pages of manuscript. Babbage was also a reformer, mathematician, philosopher, inventor and political economist. His Analytical Engine of 1834 was the first calculating engine designed along modern lines, and it is for this that Babbage is considered to be the 'father' of computing.