Computers and Automata [Bell Monograph]
New York, NY: Bell Telephone Laboratories, Incorporated March 1954. first separate Edition. 1-8 pages. 11 x 8 1/2 inches. Publisher's printed grey, blue and black wrappers, stapled. Five-holes punched at the spine as issued. Pencil marked "1953" and "p.26" on the front wrapper. Near Fine. Wraps. 
First published in the famous "Computer Issue" of the Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers (Vol. 41, 1953, pp. 1234-1241), we are unaware of any IRE offprints of this paper. Thus the Bell Telephone System Monograph series (#2150: March 1954) constitutes the first separate appearance. Also reprinted in Methodos, Vol. 6 (1954), pp. 115-130 but lacks both the sample checker program game and notes by Strachey.
"This paper reviews briefly some of the recent developments in the field of automata and nonnumerical computation. A number of typical machines are described, including logic machines, game-playing machines, and learning machines. Some theoretical questions and developments are discussed, such as a comparison of computers and the brain, Turing's formulation of computing machines, and von Neumann's models of self-reproducing machines." (summary, p 130).
"A brief review of developments in the field of automata and non-numerical computation. Included are descriptions of logic machines, game-playing machines, learning machines, Turing's formulation of computing machines, and von Neumann's models of self-reproducing machines. The paper was written for the special computer issue of the Proceedings of the IRE." (Origins of Cyberspace)
In his review of this article for The Journal of Symbolic Logic (Vol 19), Alonzo Church describes it as "...an excellent descriptive non-technical article..."
PROVENANCE: The personal files of Claude E. Shannon (unmarked). There were two examples of this item in Shannon's files.
Sloane and Wyner, "Claude Elwood Shannon Collected Papers," #82
Hook and Norman, "Origins of Cyberspace," #885
COLLECTORS NOTE: The Bell Telephone System Monograph series offered a way to obtain individual articles by Bell scientists regardless of where their work was first published. Many Monographs significantly postdate the original article publication. Because of this, they rarely constitute the coveted (and traditional) article offprint. If the journal of record issued no offprint, the Monograph might be the first separate publication - the closest the collector can come to a traditional offprint. We have done our best to place each Monograph properly in the article’s publishing history and welcome any corrections or additional information, especially regarding issues unknown to us.