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Gates donates $15 million to computer history

Silicon Valley's Computer History Museum gets its largest donation yet, aiding its effort to preserve computing artifacts.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has pledged $15 million to the Computer History Museum, the Silicon Valley institution's largest donation yet.

The gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be applied toward the Mountain View, Calif., museum's $125 million fund-raising effort, which aims to expand educational programs and exhibits, and create a long-term endowment. The donation also will help create an interactive exhibit chronicling the history of computing.

"The impact on our society of the computing revolution is simply breathtaking--it has changed the way we work, play, learn and communicate," Gates said in a statement. "It's our responsibility to collect the artifacts and stories today that will explain this incredible change to future generations."

The Computer History Museum campaign has raised $73 million to date.

In addition to donating to the computer museum, the Gates Foundation, with its endowment of $28.8 billion, has funded scholarships to universities and colleges. The foundation also focuses on global health, public libraries and families at risk in the Northwest.