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Citizens of PLATO Digital Archive

Additional Resources

The Friendly Orange Glow

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture by Brian Dear (Pantheon, 2017).  An in depth book written from a previous PLATO programmer following decades of research into PLATO with numerous accounts of oral histories, journalistic documentation, and interviews with various figures part of the system.


A People's History of Computing in the United States

A People's History of Computing in the United States by Joy Lisi Rankin (Harvard University Press, 2018).  A broad historical survey of computing with focus on case studies from 1960s and 70s systems and communities distinct from Silicon Valley and the dominant cultural narrative of computing history.  One chapter is primarily concerned with PLATO from a sociological and gender studies perspective drawing analysis from archival documents.


Illinois Distributed Museum – PLATO Exhibit

Online museum exhibit from the University of Illinois Archives and University Library providing a historical introduction to PLATO and its importance at the University of Illinois including a tour map with interactive campus PLATO displays.


PLATO History: Remembering the Future

Blog run by Brian Dear, author of The Friendly Orange Glow, and home of the PLATO History Foundation.


Daleske Space

Website dedicated to history of the PLATO system especially PLATO video games and early online social computing, created and maintained by John Daleske, developer of the PLATO game Empire (the first massive, multiplayer, networked computer game).



Video recordings of the 6-session conference hosted by the Computer History Museum celebrating the 50th anniversary of the PLATO system.

Technology: Our Timeless Servant

An archive of public talks given by Control Data CEO William Norris between 1977 and 1982 on the changing relationship of technology in business, education, employment, policy, disability and other social issues, with Norris articulating visions of the PLATO system and computer-based education in general to offer transformative capabilities for social and economic systems in the U.S.  The William C. Norris Executive Papers, 1946-1995, are held in the Control Data Corporation Records at the Charles Babbage Institute of the University of Minnesota Libraries.