The BRGM brings in its first computers

At the cutting edge of technology as ever, the BRGM was quick to introduce computers and develop computing skills.

Premier ordinateur du centre d’Orléans, un IBM 1130 avec une mémoire de 8ko.
The BRGM's first computer at its Orléans centre, an IBM 1130 with 8 Kb of memory. © BRGM

In 1964, the BRGM's computing centre, set up at the time in the Rue de la Fédération in Paris, received its first computer, a Bull Gamma 30 with 20 Kbytes of memory, a punch-card reader, printer and 6 magnetic tape drives, all essential to process the first computer file documenting France's geology: the data from 80 boreholes more than 500 m in depth all had to be transcribed onto punch cards.

The latest in computer equipment 

Soon after moving to the BRGM centre at Orléans-La Source, the computing department was equipped with an IBM 1130 with disc drives and  8 kb of memory, then in 1971 with an IBM 360/40. The arrival of computers at the BRGM, initially to process borehole data, laid the foundations for the future subsoils databank.  Rapid technical progress made it possible to decentralise the data entry, querying and processing tasks to the regional geological survey departments to meet local needs.

L’ordinateur IBM 1130 et son unité de traitement.
The IBM 1130 and its processing unit.
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