Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
PNNL News Central

Optical digital recording system nominated for distinguished award

News Release

May 26, 1994 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Battelle Memorial Institute's optical digital recording system is a finalist for the 1994 Computerworld Smithsonian Award that recognizes innovative use of information technology by corporations, organizations and individuals.

Battelle is one of five finalists in the science category for the CWSA. The winner will be announced on June 6, 1994, in Washington, D.C., and the winning entry will become a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History.

Battelle's optical digital recording system was nominated by the Intel Corp. One hundred information technology industry leaders submit nominations each year for the CWSA.

The development of optical digital recording was pioneered by Battelle researcher James T. Russell in 1965. This technology provided a high density information storage breakthrough that allowed huge amounts of electronic information to be stored in a very small area. An entire set of the Encyclopedia Britannica could be stored on 10 square inches of film.

The innovation of optical digital recording contained critical design elements that eventually led to the development of compact discs and CD-ROM technology. Initially, the development of Russell's ideas was supported by the Battelle Development Corp., and later licensed to the Optical Recording Corp.

The CWSA program was founded six years ago by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and Computerworld, the leading newspaper of the information technology industry.

PNNL LogoInterdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,400 staff and has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. It is managed and operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

News Center


Additional Resources