(taken from Wikipedia)
4.1BSD was a response to criticisms of BSD's performance relative to the dominant VAX operating system, VMS. The 4.1BSD kernel was systematically tuned up by Bill Joy until it could perform as well as VMS on several benchmarks. (The release would have been called 5BSD, but after objections from AT&T the name was changed; AT&T feared confusion with AT&T's Unix System V.)
After 4.1BSD came three intermediate versions: 4.1a incorporated a modified version of BBN's preliminary TCP/IP implementation; 4.1b included the new Berkeley Fast File System, implemented by Marshall Kirk McKusick; and 4.1c was an interim release during the last few months of 4.2BSD's development.
The files here come from the CSRG Archives, and were donated by Kirk McKusick.
For more information about 4.1BSD, see Twenty Years of Berkeley Unix by Kirk McKusick.