Filed under personal journal | Tags: · complex systems, cybernetics, psychiatry, self-organization, systems theory
On Monday, 7th May 1928, while a 24 year old medical student at Barts Hospital in London, Ross started writing a journal. In it he recorded his thoughts, theorems, and goals that would eventually bring him recognition as a pioneer in the fields of Cybernetics and Systems Theory. 44 years later, his journal had 7,400 pages, in 25 volumes.
In 1972, shortly after Ross died, Stafford Beer wrote in his condolence letter to Ross’s wife, Rosebud, “Look after Ross’s papers. I have no idea what should be done with them, but they are very precious.” — For the next 30 years, only members of his family had access to his journals.
Eventually, scans were made of all original archive material, and in January 2003, Ross’s daughters gave the whole archive to The British Library, in London. Then, in March 2004, at the end of the W. Ross Ashby Centenary Conference, his daughters announced that they would make Ross’s Journal available on the Internet. Now, in 2008, the digitally restored images of all 7,400 pages and 1,600 index cards are available on this web site in various views, with extensive cross-linking that is based on the keywords in Ross’s original alphabetical index.Comment (1)