The Museum of Computing threatened with closure

The Intel-sponsored Museum of Computing, said to be the first of its kind in the UK, is facing eviction and could be homeless by the summer.

The University of Bath. has decided to move from its Oakfield campus in July, which means the museum will have to move on from its present home adjacent to the university libraries.

It carries over 2,000 hardware exhibits (85 per cent of which work), 2,500 software items and around 1,500 items including books, manuals and magazines. It is looking for suitable exhibition and storage space in Swindon.

Museum of Computing curator and independent IT consultant Simon Webb said that the museum was absolutely critical in terms of IT in the UK.

"We can't really understand where we are until we take a look where computing has come from," Webb said.

"We have kids and schoolchildren coming into the museum who have no concept of how computing has evolved and changed in a relatively short space of time," he added. "Purely in terms of an educational point of view I think we are a fantastic resource."

The museum started its partnership with Intel two years ago, who has been giving funding on an ongoing basis. However, it is run entirely by volunteers and other funding comes from donations.

The museum was already in discussions with a couple of groups, with Webb saying that he'd held talks with the Swindon branch of the national Science Museum for a lease and temporary storage, but nothing definite has yet been confirmed.

"What we would really like to do is to find a permanent home for the museum - somewhere we could store the collection, put on exhibitions and display what we have," he said.

"In the short term we would to happy for somewhere to put the collection and address the other concerns at a later date."