Reaching Out to the World

In 1980, the early Sigma-7 computer and the use of Alpha Code were replaced by the Ibycus system (a Hewlett Packard 1000 computer). The new system was also designed by David W. Packard. It was capable of handling all TLG correction procedures as well as browsing and searching of the texts. Remarkably, Ibycus remained in use from 1980 to 1999--an exceptionally long life for any computer system.

TLG texts first became available to scholars in 1976 on magnetic tapes, a scant three years after the project had been initially conceived. Tapes were not a particularly user-friendly delivery format, however, and so release of the first TLG CD-ROM in 1985 was a watershed moment for scholarly users. This CD also carries historic status as the first published compact disk that did not contain music!

In 1985, Packard designed the first microcomputer capable of reading the TLG CD-ROM (Ibycus SC), which enabled research libraries to set up workstations for use by scholars. By the late 1980s, virtually all major research libraries and many individual classicists had access to the growing TLG collection.