Swade was originally from South Africa. He has studied electronics engineering, history, machine intelligence, philosophy of science and physics at a number of universities including the University of Cape Town, University of Cambridge, and University College London (UCL). He holds a BSc in physics and electronics engineering, an MSc in control engineering, and a PhD in the history of computing from UCL.
He has been a curator at the Science Museum in London, England, and the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, California, USA. At the Science Museum, he curated the computing and electronics collections and rose to be Assistant Director and Head of Collections. His major project at the museum was to organise the construction of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, in collaboration with Dr Allan Bromley who studied Babbage's original drawings at the Science Museum.
In 1989, Swade was a co-founder of the Computer Conservation Society, a specialist group of the British Computer Society (BCS), with regular meetings at the Science Museum. He is a Fellow of the BCS and a Chartered Engineer.
Swade is a Visiting Professor in the History of Computing at the University of Portsmouth, UK. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow in Computer Science at Royal Holloway, University of London.
- The Dream Machine: Exploring the Computer Age, 1991. BBC Books, 1993. With Jon Palfreman. ISBN 978-0-563-36992-9.
- Charles Babbage and his Calculating Engines, Science Museum, London, 1998. ISBN 978-0-901805-45-4.
- The Cogwheel Brain, Abacus, 2001. ISBN 978-0-349-11239-8.
- The Difference Engine: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer, Penguin Putnam, 2001. ISBN 978-0-670-91020-5. Penguin Books, 2002. ISBN 978-0-14-200144-8.
- Doron Swade, Computing History, UK.
- Doron Swade, Computer History Museum, California, USA.
- Doron Swade and the Phillip's Economic Computer, 1990s, Science Museum, London, UK.
- Doron Swade, 'Two Cultures: Computer Art and the Science Museum', chapter 16, pages 203–218. In Paul Brown, Charlie Gere, Nicholas Lambert, and Catherine Mason (editors), White Heat Cold Logic. The MIT Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-262-02653-6.
- Ada Lovelace, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 6 March 2008.
- Kingston computer historian, nurse and volunteer get New Year honours, Your Local Guardian, UK, 31 December 2008.
- Doron Swade: Bibliography, Amazon.com.
- Doron Swade, LibraryThing.