In the beginning...
It all started in the early 1990's with a modest assortment of ageing home computers and games consoles. Unlike most collections it wasn't filled with the best examples and mint condition items, as most had been rescued from the dustbin or liberated from peoples attics and garages. Many items were faulty, broken and damaged. It was thought to be better to save as many of these vintage items as possible, regardless of their condition, as opposed to letting them disappear forever on the scrapheaps and landfills.
The Retroseum project was founded in 2006 by me, 'Gary The Penguin'. I wanted to share this rag-tag collection with the world and hopefully give the them a purpose again. I also wanted to reach out to any other neglected and forgotten computers and consoles and offer them a caring home. I thought in this modern world the best way to do that was through the internet.
So, from here the Retroseum Mission was spawned and work on a database and website began.
In 2008 new premises were sought to house this expanding vintage community and new product types were introduced like a Cocktail Arcade, PDA's and vintage calculators. Due to the collections growing diversity the website had to be re-developed from the ground up.
Disaster struck in 2010! During the icy cold winter, burst water pipes caused a serious flood of the Retroseum property and sadly some of the beloved collection was damaged. The website was therefore put on hold whilst the collection was temporarily moved for property repairs and the remainder of 2010 and most of 2011 was spent testing and repairing the injured artifacts. Unfortunately though not all casualties were saved and an unlucky Apricot and a couple of Commodore's passed away during major surgery.
Retroseum Back On Track...
Toward the end of 2011 work continued on the website and finally in January 2012, almost 6 years after the initial concept, The Retroseum Online Museum went Live! The website was by no means completed, and constant work is needed to keep it updated and add more exhibits, but there was enough to get it off the ground. Although the internet is a different and more modern medium in which to develop the project our core values and original mission still applies.
The Retroseum Mission...
In this modern age of computer technology, ipods, smartphones and the internet; technology is deemed obsolete very very quickly and huge amounts of hardware and software is being disposed of every day. With the current trend of disposal and "recycling", this technology could very easily become lost forever. The majority of electronics devices which are "recycled" are melted down and destroyed for their precious metal content and with it the heritage is detroyed also. The main objective of the Retroseum project is to help preserve our technological heritage by saving old, unwanted, outdated and obsolete pieces of computer based technology. It is our belief that this would be best acheived by rescueing as many items we can from landfills, scrapheaps and "recycling" centres, repairing them where possible and sharing them with as many people as we can.
Retroseum has some simple guidelines to help us in our mission;
We currently have various stretgedy's to achieve our mission; we rescue hardware and software from various sources including donations from the general public, searching Freecycle, searching Freegle, searching SnaffleUp, scouring car boot sales and when funds allow buying "faulty" or minimum bid items off E-bay.
Although Retroseum does not accept financial donations, we do welcome any information and help toward the project. If you think you can contribute please join the Retroseum Forum, or e-mail us.
We also welcome any hardware, software or literature donations. If you have an old computer or console which you have not managed to sell on E-bay, or that might be laying in your attic unwanted, or that might be too damaged to sell, please please please do not throw it away. Similarly if you find any documentation / user guides or cables for any old hardware you might not own anymore, please do not throw them away. Donate it to Retroseum instead. Retroseum cannot offer any money, but it will try it's very best to make the most of what you donate.
Credits & Thank-You's...
Retroseum would like to thank the following;
Retroseum would also like to thank the following for donating hardware and software to the museum;
Peter Bacon - For donating a Sinclair ZX-81