Hidden Stanford archive houses largest collection of Apple historical materials

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
When Apple's financial hardships forced the company to abandon plans for its own corporate museum back in the late 1990s, the company elected to turn over its trove of materials to Stanford University's Silicon Valley Archives, which now retains the largest collection of such historic data in the world.



The Associated Press was recently granted access to the off-campus, climate-controlled warehouse where the university is preserving the material in "hundreds of box" requiring more than 600 feet of shelf space -- but only after the news agency agreed not to disclose the facility's precise location.



Nestled somewhere on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay area, the archive is said to include 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.



It's also home to a rare interview recorded more than two decades ago where Wozniak recalls how Jobs first proposed a name for their upstart during a drive down Highway 85 roughly 35 years ago.



"We're on the freeway, and Steve mentions, 'I've got a name: Apple Computer,'" he says on the recording originally made for internal purposes. "We kept thinking of other alternatives to that name, and we couldn't think of anything better."



"And also remember that I worked at Atari, and it got us ahead of Atari in the phonebook," Jobs adds.



Apple had been collecting the materials with the intention of forming its own company museum, but Jobs elected to scrap the idea upon his return to the company in 1997 as he raced to restructure the financially-strapped corporation and avoid bankruptcy.



As an alternative, Apple officials decided to contact Stanford and donate the materials. According to the AP, curators for the university archive arrived at Apple's campus days later and proceeded to fill two large moving trucks with "documents, books, software, videotapes and marketing materials."



Those items, along with others later donated by former company executives, early employees, business partners and Mac enthusiasts, now comprise the heart of Stanford's so-called Apple Collection.



A processor navigates the shelves at Stanford's Archives in Oct, 2011 | Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu



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 and forever altered the landscape of technology and communication.



"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 (above) 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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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I had always given Microsoft credit for those painfully cheesy, nausea-inducing internal videos they make; I assumed they were an original idea.



    Now I know Microsoft has just been catching up to Apple?s cheesiness from 25 years ago.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "And also remember that I worked at Atari, and it got us ahead of Atari in the phonebook," Jobs adds.







    "Thank you for calling Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapple Computer Inc."



    Quote:

    A company video (above) spoofing the 1984 movie "Ghost Busters," with Jobs and other executives playing "Blue Busters," a reference to rival IBM.



    Hang on, this demands a contemporary version…







    Quote:

    If there's somethin' same in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? (Great Lawyers)

    If it's looks the same, but it won't run good, who ya gonna call? (Great Lawyers)

    I ain't afraid a no copies. I ain't afraid a no copies.



    If their icons are, lookin’ just like yours. Who can you call? (Great Lawyers)

    If you think you’ll find, a-well no recourse. Oh who ya gonna call? (Great Lawyers)

    I ain't afraid a no copies. I ain't afraid a no copies. Who ya gonna call? (Great Lawyers)

    If you're all alone then you should find an iPhone and call (Great Lawyers)



    I ain't afraid a no copies. I hear Samsung likes to play.

    I ain't afraid a no copies. Who you gonna call (Great Lawyers).



    Mmm, if they’re on a binge of patent infringe’, baby, you better call Great Lawyers

    Protection makes me feel good: I ain't afraid a no copies.



    We’ll just ban their phone oh no Great Lawyers

    When they’re sold at your store, unless you've just got some more I think you better call Great Lawyers.

    Ooh... who you gonna call (Great Lawyers)

    Who you gonna call (Great Lawyers)

    Ah, I think you better call (Great Lawyers)



    I can't hear you. Who you gonna call? (Great Lawyers)

    Louder! Great Lawyers!

    Who you gonna call (Great Lawyers)

    Who you can call (Great Lawyers)



  • Reply 3 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    I remember being shown that video at a dealer meeting in London (Heathrow Penta Hotel if I am not mistaken) we loved it and cheers went up when we spotted Woz (not so much Sculley). At the time I had several Lisas and a ton of Macs in my office plus Apple ///s and ][s. They were actually fun times believe it or not. Taking home work was never a chore



    I'd love to be able to wander that repository and maybe fire a few of those babies up.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,638member
    That video smells like John Sculley.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    I had always given Microsoft credit for those painfully cheesy, nausea-inducing internal videos they make; I assumed they were an original idea.



    Now I know Microsoft has just been catching up to Apple?s cheesiness from 25 years ago.



    Yeah, that was a lousy video.



    My favorite Mac ad was one that was never actually used. In fact, it wasn't even from Apple - it was someone who created the ad themselves. It was the one where the kid has to clean their room, so they sit at their laptop which has a picture of their room. They put everything away in the real room by moving things around on the screen. Anyone know where I can find that?
  • Reply 6 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post






    At the time I had several Lisas and a ton of Macs in my office plus Apple ///s and ][s.








    My original //s is now in a museum. I donated it, along with the original monochrome monitor and external disk drive. I still had all the original boxes and all the accessories too.



    And of course, the //s is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, in the Industrial Design section. It is a great design.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    I wonder how much Ray Parker Jr. got paid for that.



    PS: That video shouldn't be allowed to survive.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    If they wanted to be listed first they should have changed their name to _Apple



    And the largest collection of Apple stuff is in my basement...
  • Reply 9 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    My favorite Mac ad was one that was never actually used. In fact, it wasn't even from Apple - it was someone who created the ad themselves. It was the one where the kid has to clean their room, so they sit at their laptop which has a picture of their room. They put everything away in the real room by moving things around on the screen. Anyone know where I can find that?



    Never heard of it but if you find it can you post it here or PM me?
  • Reply 10 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Yeah, that was a lousy video.



    My favorite Mac ad was one that was never actually used. In fact, it wasn't even from Apple - it was someone who created the ad themselves. It was the one where the kid has to clean their room, so they sit at their laptop which has a picture of their room. They put everything away in the real room by moving things around on the screen. Anyone know where I can find that?



    The video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyj_0vy2QUI



    Cheers.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    That video smells like John Sculley.



    He was in the vid. A quick pic of him holding his hands to his head.... :P
  • Reply 12 of 29
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PowerMach View Post


    The video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyj_0vy2QUI



    Cheers.



    I had forgotten how ugly those original iBooks were (although at the time they compared favorably to the Wintel options of the day). That's one of the few classes of Macs I've never owned (my parents had one though).
  • Reply 13 of 29
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PowerMach View Post


    The video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyj_0vy2QUI



    Cheers.



    That's the one. I thought it was very clever and would have made a great ad for Apple.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    That's the one. I thought it was very clever and would have made a great ad for Apple.



    I can't see Apple using that ad. Can you imagine the lawsuits when people realize they can't clean their room with their Mac.





    PS: Thanks for the link, PowerMach.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,378member
    I was surprised to read that it was finances that stopped Apple from creating a museum because the mantra from Steve Jobs was always that he had no interest in looking backwards (even though Steve wasn't necessarily at Apple at the time this was being proposed).



    But now that Apple has tons of cash, I think that it would make sense for the company to establish some kind of museum perhaps tied to an educational center. They could "borrow" materials back from Stanford for exhibition.



    In the alternative, they could create a large exhibit that would travel from museum to museum.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    I was surprised to read that it was finances that stopped Apple from creating a museum because the mantra from Steve Jobs was always that he had no interest in looking backwards (even though Steve wasn't necessarily at Apple at the time this was being proposed).



    But now that Apple has tons of cash, I think that it would make sense for the company to establish some kind of museum perhaps tied to an educational center. They could "borrow" materials back from Stanford for exhibition.



    In the alternative, they could create a large exhibit that would travel from museum to museum.



    1 Infinite Loop would make for a great location.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    1 Infinite Loop would make for a great location.



    I think Apple might get some roads renamed once the new campus is built. Once they have a REAL infinite loop, why would they want to call some other road Infinite Loop?
  • Reply 18 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I think Apple might get some roads renamed once the new campus is built. Once they have a REAL infinite loop, why would they want to call some other road Infinite Loop?



    But that would be the building, not the road. I assume the road name will stay the same.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    But that would be the building, not the road. I assume the road name will stay the same.



    Eh, you're right.



    They should rename the road that leads to the new campus something more fitting.



    Like "Steve Jobs' Way".



    Not "Steve Jobs Way", "Steve Jobs' Way".
  • Reply 20 of 29
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    But that would be the building, not the road. I assume the road name will stay the same.





    The road that approaches 1 Infinite Loop used to have a different name. I can't remember what it was but now it is also considered to be part of Infinite Loop. It is pretty easy to get the city to change the name of a street if there are no existing addresses on it. Of course, it would be pretty easy for Apple to get anything they want from Cupertino.
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