Hidden Stanford archive houses largest collection of historical Apple materials


In late 1990s, when Apple had some financial hardships the company elected to turn over its trove of materials to Stanford University's Silicon Valley Archives. Apple had been collecting the materials with the intention of forming its own company museum. The materials include "hundreds of box" requiring more than 600 feet of shelf space and has early photos of a young Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, blueprints for the first Apple computer, user manuals, magazine ads, TV commercials, company t-shirts and drafts of Jobs' speeches.

The university hopes its efforts will ultimately help historians, entrepreneurs and policymakers understand how a startup launched in a Silicon Valley garage by two college dropouts grew into the world's largest company.

"What they were doing was spectacularly new," said Stanford curator Henry Lowood. "The idea of building computers out of your garage and marketing them and thereby creating a successful business - it just didn't compute for a lot of people."

Among the other items in the Apple Collection are:

  • 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."

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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Tuesday, January 3, 2012. 22:35

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