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Getting down to business, with the help of the Aldrich Archive

Published 10 November 2010

The University of Brighton's business school is to use an archive for teaching and research and will offer an annual prize for best e-commerce project, to be awarded for the first time in the summer of 2011.

The IT archive, housed in the university's Cockcroft Building in Lewes Road, Brighton, is named after Michael Aldrich, inventor of online shopping, who donated the facility in 2009 for teaching, learning, scholarship and research.

Kevin Turner, principal lecturer at the Brighton Business School, said: "The archive is a great resource for teaching and research, and it provides a fascinating insight into the early development of technology we now use every day. Students will appreciate the contribution made locally by Michael Aldrich and ROCC Computers, which is supporting the project, to the foundation and development of our exciting virtual world."

He said the annual award will be called the Michael Aldrich Prize in recognition of the inventor’s support to the university.

Kevin has been teaching at the university for more than 20 years and his subject areas include information systems, operational research and business process management. His research interest is the modelling of the supply chain for new vehicles, which has led to consultancy for most of the world's largest car manufacturers. He also supervises and examines PhD students in related topics.

Colleagues Asher Rospigliosi and Clare Millington, both senior lecturers at the school, will use the Aldrich Archive as part of the e-commerce module available to final year undergraduates. Further use of the archive is also being planned.

Clare Millington, Asher Rospigliosi and Kevin Turner

Clare Millington, Asher Rospigliosi and Kevin Turner

The hard-copy of the Aldrich Archive was transferred to the Aldrich Library at the university in February 2010. Digitisation of the archive is on-going and the archive is publicly accessible at

A further project has begun to re-create the original 1984 online shopping system using vintage hardware and software. When completed in 2013, the system will go on permanent public display at a museum. Volunteers are being recruited to help and it is anticipated that electronic engineers in particular will be needed.

The project is being backed by ROCC Computers and the work will be carried out in Brighton. For further details, go to the Aldrich Archive website, and offers of help can be made through the feedback page.

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