CBF was founded by Erwin and Adelle Tomash in 1977 and is named after Charles Babbage, the 19th Century father of computer design. For the past 25 years, CBF has helped support the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota and other organizations and their projects through generous annual gifts from its trustees, foundations and corporations.
In 2002, CBF became a California-based nonprofit organization, expanding its charter and mission. Today, CBF carries out its mission through approximately 60 trustees, each of whom is a distinguished member of the IT community. CBF has two primary goals: 1) to preserve the legacy of the information technology community, and 2) to provide professional and educational resources for industry professionals, students, teachers, media researchers, curators, academics and others.
The CBF Board of Directors has formally adopted the following statement of its mission, which is to:
- Raising money to fund projects undertaken by CBI, SHC, and, when appropriate, other organizations,
- Taking a leading role in the preservation of the history of IT companies,
- Maintaining a collaborative leadership role among IT history organizations, and
- Proactively recruiting new trustees to CBF to expand the community of people who support the preservation of IT history.
The starting premise is that there is more strength in close association than in go-it-alone efforts for related but diverse constituents. CBF believes that coordination between sister organizations will lead to new technologies, standards, and approaches to preserving history.