From Wikipedia's code page article:

Originally, the code page numbers referred to the page numbers in the IBM standard character set manual

Is any version of this publication available? I'd be content even with a photo of the cover.

  • That's a good one. I'd be as well interested in seeing that manual, as all I could find are the ominous references in DEC manuals and, well, Wiki - and endless copies thereof. But there is no reference in the IBM Bibliographie Manuals I own nor has anyone I asked ever seen one. The only one that comes close are the 3270 I/O tables, but they are in a complete different context and order.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 11:47

2 Answers 2


The document everything seems to refer back to is IBM's "Character Data Representation Architecture Reference and Registry" (SC09-2190-00).

There is a copy here, in IBM's BookManager format: https://www-01.ibm.com/servers/resourcelink/svc00100.nsf/pages/zosv1r13-pdf-download?OpenDocument (search for SC09-2190, about three-quarters of the way down a long web page).

This site claims to be a BookManager reader that runs in on Windows 95 and similar Windows versions: https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/ibm-library-reader-windows.

The FTP download link works, but I don't have any way to install it on such an old OS - so apologies if this answer leads nowhere.

It may be a warning flag that most documents on that long IBM list are available as PDFs, but not this one. I guess it may be unreadable unless all the code pages are actually installed somewhere the document reader can find them.

  • More likely they just didn't bother or didn't get around to converting it. BookManager is basically IBM's proprietary in-house answer to things like PDF or Microsoft CHM from the days before PDF took over the world.
    – ssokolow
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 23:30
  • Yeah. Cool find, except that book is way too modern. The one mentioned it the second edition from ca. 1995 (OS390 times) I got the first edition here, which is from 1990 (MVS/ESA), so many years after the claimed 'page' reference has been used. So teh search is still open. (P.S.: there is a somewhat actual reader version from 2012 for Win7 that should run in Win10)
    – Raffzahn
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 23:40
  • 4
    I don't have any way to install it on such an old OS 4,011 points on Retrocomputing and you can't even run old software! Commented May 15, 2020 at 2:09
  • 1
    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact I started my first full-time job as a programmer in 1969. And I have a pretty good memory. (And yes that means I'm now officially a retiree, but I still do some work as a software beta tester, more for the fun than the money).
    – alephzero
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 14:41
  • 2
    Might be worth filing an RCF to get this published as a PDF. The original SCRIPT/VS source has to be somewhere. Commented May 30, 2020 at 19:44

The most recent (known) IBM manual on code pages Character Data Representation Architecture: Reference & Registry, SC09-2190-00, from 1995. Also from the same year is the associated overview manual, which contains conceptual information, Character Data Representation Architecture: Overview, GC09-2207-00. Both manuals are still (as of March 2024) available for download from IBM, albeit in the legacy BookManager format; the overview manual as focovr00.boo and the reference manual as focref00.boo

However, there is an older series of manuals covering the same information – the IBM National Language Design Guide series, the most important of which is Volume 2, the Reference Manual (SE09-8002), which detailed the code pages. IBM still offers the 1992 edition, SE09-8002-02 for download, once again in BookManager format as f0banl00.boo

The editions of SE09-8002 were:

  • SE09-8003-03, August 1994: in the collection of the Centre for Computing History
  • SE09-8002-02, 1992 (linked above; I don't know why the version IBM offers for download is apparently not the latest version)
  • SE09-8002-01, March 1990
  • SE09-8002-00, 1987

The 1987 edition is the oldest IBM manual on this topic of which I am aware.

Other relevant manuals include SC09-1391-01: Character Data Representation Architecture Level 2 Registry (December 1993, Centre for Computing History), and its predecessor SC09-1391-00: Character Data Representation Architecture Level 1 Registry (1990)

The current IBM code page registry is (I believe) here: https://public.dhe.ibm.com/software/globalization/gcoc/attachments/ (also, a non-IBM mirror in case IBM ever takes it down: https://ftpmirror.your.org/pub/misc/ftp.software.ibm.com/software/globalization/gcoc/attachments/)

And see also ccsids.net, where someone has gone to a lot of effort to collect as much information on this topic as possible, even going so far as trying to forensically reconstruct corrupt PDF files on IBM's website

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