Stanford's Secret Apple Archives – Palo Alto, California - Atlas Obscura

Stanford's Secret Apple Archives

Apple memorabilia in an undisclosed warehouse, hidden for undisclosed reasons. 


On the outskirts of San Francisco, Stanford University has 600 feet of warehouse shelves filled completely with archival photographs, videos and even handwritten letters about Apple and Steve Jobs. While undoubtedly fanboys would kill to access the archives, the climate-controlled warehouse is in an undisclosed location, not open to the public, and is guarded like a cache of priceless Renaissance art.

Reminiscent of the warehouse scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Stanford keeps these historical treasures under lock and key. All of the materials in the warehouse were donated by Jobs in 1997, and have been hidden since, when the plans for a museum were scrapped by Jobs return to Apple. Despite the cloak and dagger routine, the Associated Press was brought in to see the collection in 2011 after Jobs’ death, but subsequently sworn to secrecy as to its location.

According to their story, the collection features in-house interviews with Jobs in the 1980s, along with a loan agreement for the first $5,000 that got Apple off the ground in 1976. Considering the fervor surrounding Jobs’ death, it is understandable that the archives could be burgled if their location was reported.

Hopefully for the rest of us without security clearance or the designation as “top men,” Stanford will release the materials to a museum, where once open, the public can continue to learn about Steve Jobs and the company that helped transform our world.

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December 30, 2011

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