Stanford University Housing Historical Archive of Apple Documents

The Associated Press was recently given access to Stanford's Silicon Valley Archives which houses the largest collection of history on Apple. The collection of historical documents and videos was originally maintained by Apple with plans to make a company museum. Shortly after Steve Jobs' return in 1997, Apple contacted Stanford University and offered to donate the entirety of the collection to the school's Silicon Valley Archives.

The collection, the largest assembly of Apple historical materials, can help historians, entrepreneurs and policymakers understand how a startup launched in a Silicon Valley garage became a global technology giant.

The collection takes up more than 600 feet of shelf space, but is not open to the public.


Amongst the archives:

- Thousands of photos by photographer Douglas Menuez, who documented Jobs' years at NeXT Computer, which he founded in 1985 after he was pushed out of Apple.
- A company video spoofing the 1984 movie "Ghost Busters," with Jobs and other executives playing "Blue Busters," a reference to rival IBM.
- Handwritten financial records showing early sales of Apple II, one of the first mass-market computers.
- An April 1976 agreement for a $5,000 loan to Apple Computer and its three co-founders: Jobs, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, who pulled out of the company less than two weeks after its founding.
- A 1976 letter written by a printer who had just met Jobs and Wozniak and warns his colleagues about the young entrepreneurs: "This joker (Jobs) is going to be calling you ... They are two guys, they build kits, operate out of a garage."

There's no indication when or if Stanford plans to make the documents available for public viewing.

Top Rated Comments

Small White Car Avatar
125 months ago
Cool stuff.

The preservation of recent history is a somewhat thankless job. Most people don't find it too interesting, but without people saving recent history we'd have no museums full of ancient history. So good for them.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CFreymarc Avatar
125 months ago
Yeah well, Stanford's never been known for being generous. They're just kind of douchey.

----------



Um. Between 1985 and 1997?

Please sit yourself down at a computer running System 7, and then try running Windows 3.1. Mac OS 8 and Windows 95.

You're obviously a bandwagon Mac user, who was either too poor to too stupid to buy Macs in the 90s.
He has some points. Apple in the 90s was definitely running off momentum of the original Mac genesis. IMO, the big folly was Scully trying to make "his Mac" that was know as the Newton. As one of the original, independent Newton developers and also interviewing with the original Newton design team, IMO too many "establishment" types that Steve fought was firmly entrenched at Apple in the time.

This was the era of Steve #3, Donna, Larry and others that were trying to do something that one upped the highly touted General Magic, Magic Cap OS made by the original Mac crew. It was too many cooks on the soup. The elites at Apple R&D kicked out those that matched Job's and Woz's personality for being "not sophisticated enough." This corporate introversion created brilliant products that earned a lot of Ph.D.'s but not market share due to IMO VERY poor market communication promotions.

Scully left the place after his Newton mistress lost all dignity in an orgy. Her coming out party failed to attract any good suitors. Then Spindler came in and just bottom lined the place to near death. Amello came in and, while he got a lot of blame, did the best triage he could with the elegant scalpel work he used.

Problem is that Apple didn't need a scalpel, it needed a wrecking ball and high explosives. That is what Steve Jobs did coming in via the NeXT buyout with firing authority of anyone below the board including VPs. People were fired during elevator rides in The Loop, they were fired for leaving early for a social gathering, they were fired for not coming in on a Saturday to make a dead line, they were fired for wearing a band t-shirt that Steve didn't like (yes Tom, I remember) and even getting fired for buying a new car from a bonus paid during a quarter Apple posted a loss.

Rude? Yes. Crude? Yes. Did it turn the place around? Hell yes! God bless him and the hell with those that think they can stay comfortable at the peak of their career.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
125 months ago
Most of what apple did in those years can be summed up as

1- lost market share and
2- failed to make any significant progress on creating the operating system for the future.

Semi wrong and wrong. I'll fix it up for you.

1- lost market share in most segments but kept and gained market share in the education and creative professional sectors

2- Made a good OS but cause of point 1 was not very wide spread.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ProVideo Avatar
125 months ago
Most of what apple did in those years can be summed up as

1- lost market share and
2- failed to make any significant progress on creating the operating system for the future.

That's ridiculous revisionism.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Krazy Bill Avatar
125 months ago
There's no indication when or if Stanford plans to make the documents available for public viewing.

Uh... then what's the point of pack-ratting this stuff?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacSince1990 Avatar
125 months ago
Uh... then what's the point of pack-ratting this stuff?

Yeah well, Stanford's never been known for being generous. They're just kind of douchey.

----------

Most of what apple did in those years can be summed up as

2- failed to make any significant progress on creating the operating system for the future.

Um. Between 1985 and 1997?

Please sit yourself down at a computer running System 7, and then try running Windows 3.1. Mac OS 8 and Windows 95.

You're obviously a bandwagon Mac user, who was either too poor to too stupid to buy Macs in the 90s.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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