Atomic layer deposition (ALD), a gas-phase thin film deposition technique based on repeated, self-terminating gas-solid reactions, has become the method of choice in semiconductor manufacturing and many other technological areas for depositing thin conformal inorganic material layers for various applications. ALD has been discovered and developed independently, at least twice, under different names: atomic layer epitaxy (ALE) and molecular layering. ALE, dating back to 1974 in Finland, has been commonly known as the origin of ALD, while work done since the 1960s in the Soviet Union under the name "molecular layering" (and sometimes other names) has remained much less known. The virtual project on the history of ALD (VPHA) is a volunteer-based effort with open participation, set up to make the early days of ALD more transparent. In VPHA, started in July 2013, the target is to list, read and comment on all early ALD academic and patent literature up to 1986. VPHA has resulted in two essays and several presentations at international conferences. This paper, based on a poster presentation at the 16th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition in Dublin, Ireland, 2016, presents a recommended reading list of early ALD publications, created collectively by the VPHA participants through voting. The list contains 22 publications from Finland, Japan, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States. Up to now, a balanced overview regarding the early history of ALD has been missing; the current list is an attempt to remedy this deficiency. (C) 2016 Author(s).