Not being one prone to nostalgia, Steve Jobs, upon taking over Apple in 1997, famously tossed out mountains of Apple historical memorabilia. As the story goes, Jobs explained that it’d be impossible to move the company forward and prepare for the future if they remained hung up on the past.
Within a few days, Stanford curators were at Apple headquarters in nearby Cupertino, packing two moving trucks full of documents, books, software, videotapes and marketing materials that now make up the core of Stanford’s Apple Collection.
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 is a literal treasure trove of Apple historical memorbilia, containing documents, a bevy of internal Apple videos, rare photographs, old magazine ads, early sales figures of the Apple II, and even drafts of Steve Jobs speeches.
For example, in a taped interview found in the collection, Woz and Steve Jobs explain how the name Apple came about.
“I remember driving down Highway 85,” Woz explains. “We’re on the freeway, and Steve mentions, `I’ve got a name: Apple Computer.’ We kept thinking of other alternatives to that name, and we couldn’t think of anything better.”
Jobs then chimes in, “And also remember that I worked at Atari, and it got us ahead of Atari in the phonebook.”
Impressively, the Apple collection comprises hundreds of boxes and takes up more than 600 feet of shelf space. Unfortunately, all of the materials are stored in a warehouse not open for public visits.
Recently though, the Associated Press paid a visit to the warehouse, giving us a sneak peak into what is effectively an official Apple historical museum.
One of the more noteworthy items is an internally produced company video which spoofs the 1984 movie Ghost Busters, staring Jobs and other Apple employees as “Blue Busters”, a reference of course to IBM.