An office full of computers and large monitors from the 80s with the DoIT History logo.

New website chronicles the history of UW–‍Madison’s Division of Information Technology

After more than a year of research and preparation, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) has launched a new website that explores the history of the division and information technology at the university. A partnership between DoIT and UW Archives, the new takes visitors on an interactive journey through key moments and milestones that have shaped IT at UW–‍Madison from the 1960s to today.

The site’s centerpiece is an interactive timeline featuring archival photos, documents and firsthand accounts from DoIT staff. Visitors can scroll through the decades to discover the origins of university IT units in the 1960s and 1970s, the formation of the division in the 1990s, and the rapid acceleration of technology in the 2000s and 2010s. The timeline showcases important developments like:

  • The launch of the MyUW portal
  • The development and expansion of the campus wireless network
  • DoIT’s critical contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic

In addition to the timeline, the site includes collections of key DoIT leaders and annual reports that provide additional historical context. You can also test your knowledge and have some fun by playing our DoIT trivia and Guess the Acronym games.

“Information technology services have become one of UW–‍Madison’s foundational pillars in the last few decades, enabling our mission to educate our students, search for new discoveries, and influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom,” said Lois Brooks, vice provost for information technology and chief information officer. “This new website provides an engaging way for the UW community to learn about the history of the people and technology that got us to where we are today and to see how IT has transformed teaching, learning and research at the university.”

A man in a yellow shirt works in a large room full of computers and printers.
Computer operator Rod Ebel works in the DoIT Administrative Data Processing print room in the Computer Sciences building, circa the late 1980s.

To create the site, DoIT staff and a student researcher partnered with archivists at the UW Archives, combing through dozens of boxes of records containing hundreds of documents and photographs as well as digital and analog media files. The researchers methodically reviewed and organized the materials, flagging items that helped tell the story of the pivotal technologies and the people behind them—some well-known, others obscure or historically marginalized. 

“It’s been fascinating to look back at how technology has advanced and how DoIT has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of the university,” said Mary Evansen, director of DoIT Communications. “We hope the DoIT History site provides the UW community with an opportunity to review the vital behind-the-scenes work IT has performed over the years in fulfilling the university’s mission.”

Explore the new DoIT History website at and take a trip through time to see technology’s impact at the University of Wisconsin–‍Madison. We will continue to update the site with new content in the future. Please use our feedback form to share your comments or questions or to tell us if you run into an accessibility barrier on the site.