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by Paul McJones last modified 2017-12-17 12:13


Lars Brinkhoff, editor - -
Software Preservation Group
Computer History Museum



The goal of this project is to preserve and present primary and secondary source materials (including specifications, source code, manuals, and papers discussing design and implementation) from the history of Emacs, including the TECO, Lisp Machine, Multics, Montgomery, Gosling, Zimmerman, GNU, and XEmacs versions. Comments, suggestions, and donations of additional materials are greatly appreciated.





These people have been instrumental in finding or preserving old Emacs software:

Noah Friedman, Alfred M. Szmidt, James Gosling, Brian Reid, Rich Alderson, Tom Van Vleck, der Mouse, Dave Conroy.



The very first Emacs, written in 1976. Implemented in macros for the TECO editor running in the ITS operating system for the PDP-10 computers at the MIT AI Lab. Created by Richard Stallman and Guy Steele from an amalgam of previous macro packages. It was later ported to TOPS-20.

Lisp Machine emacsen

Daniel Weinreb and Mike McMahon wrote an Emacs clone for the MIT AI Lab Lisp Machines in 1978. It was called EINE, EINE is not Emacs. Later version were called ZWEI and Zmacs.

Multics Emacs

Bernard Greenberg wrote an Emacs clone in Multics Maclisp in 1978.

Montgomery Emacs

Written in 1979 by Warren Montgomery at Bell Telephone Laboratories, initially for PDP-11 Unix.

Gosling Emacs

Written by James Gosling 1980.

  • Unipress Emacs

    Commercial version of Gosling Emacs. Sold by Unipress beginning in 1983.

Zimmerman Emacs

Developed from Montgomery Emacs by Steve Zimmerman.

  • CCA Emacs

    Commercial version of Zimmerman Emacs, sold by Computer Corporation of America.

GNU Emacs

Written by Richard Stallman in 1984, initally incorporating parts of Gosling Emacs.


Written by David Conroy in 1985.

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