One of the coolest collection of computer artifacts in the world is not in a museum. Instead this collection resides in the hallowed halls of Stanford University, in Palo Alto, California.
The collection? Apple Computer’s historical collection of artifacts - including paperwork, software, hardware and other rare business materials that document the genius and growth of the most influential technology company in the world. The documents date all the way back to when Apple was founded in 1976.
Indiana Jones would be envious of Stanford’s Historical Archives. Not only does the private archive include the Apple library of archives but also collections from Douglas Engelbart (the inventor of the computer mouse), Ed Feigenbaum (one of the fathers of “artificial intelligence”), and William Shockley (credited as “the man who brought silicon to Silicon Valley” and sparked the technology revolution). There are also historical documents and materials from companies like Fairchild Semiconductor and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.
The Apple Collection was donated to Stanford in 1997. The collection was previously managed and housed in Apple’s corporate library in Cupertino, now closed. The materials were intended for a Apple museum but that never became a reality. The collection is maintained now by Stanford for use in the special collections department in the Green Library.
What’s in the Apple collection? Books, periodicals, press releases and company speeches – all about Apple computers and software. There are also user group newsletters, along with other miscellaneous artifacts. Records from the Apple Library Users Group and the Apple Library of Tomorrow program also are part of the collection. The memorabilia and related artifacts paint not only a historical picture of the computer advancements Apple made, but also its company culture.
The Apple archives even include an 1980′s-era video company video featuring Steve Jobs and other Apple employees as Ghostbuster-like computer nerds with early mac computers strapped to their backs, just take a look at the video for yourself:
In the press release Stanford issued about the Apple Archives, “The donation of Apple’s museum and historical archives adds significantly to Stanford’s unmatched collections on the technological and business history of Silicon Valley,” said Henry Lowood, library curator for the history of science and technology. “The unique documentation of corporate culture, personal computer design and software history in the Apple collection will be of particular value not only for research on the development of computer technology, but also for studies of the cultural and social impacts of computers on our lives.”
Stanford’s Tech Connection
Stanford’s tech connection doesn’t end there. Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford was inspirational – Jobs had a very close connection with Stanford University. You can establish a connection with Stanford too. Either by attending Stanford University as a student. Another way is by attending summer camps at Stanford University like Digital Media Academy. You can even learn app development for iPhone & iPad just feet away from the historic Apple Archives.
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