Stanford Archives and Special Collections

A recent article in the Stanford Daily (“Digging up history”, by Arushi Jain, appeared in print on February 7, 2012) highlights student projects using the Stanford archives that include collections about student, staff, and faculty life; administrative history; and the Stanford family. Undergraduates have an opportunity to study the Stanford community from a historic perspective, and many successful theses have added to our understanding of academic, social, and political culture at Stanford.

What other resources are available on campus for researchers? In 2012 faculty and graduate students may be more familiar with the research collections available online via the Stanford Libraries subscriptions to databases and article repositories than they are with the materials housed in buildings around campus. As the Stanford archives are a useful resource for undergraduate research, so too the various collections around campus can provide opportunities for scholarly research. Whether for teaching or for personal research, it can be helpful to know about the spectrum of collections out there. Stanford Libraries maintains a list of their different branches and collections. Here are two unique collections to pique your interest:

Archive of Recorded Sound – part of the Music Library, but a world unto itself. Archives for the Stanford Marching Band, the Monterey Jazz Festival, violinists Jascha Heifetz and Yehudi Menuhin, the Issei Oral History Project in Watsonville, and the KSFO radio station (1956-83) are a few highlights of the ARS. See the full list of their collections with links to findings aids at the Online Archive of California. Listen to the Music Treasury on KZSU Tuesdays from 5-7pm to hear recordings from the ARS.

Stanford Silicon Valley Archives – housed in Special Collections at Green Library, this is an essential resource for the recent history of the Bay Area. Their holdings include documents from Apple Computer, Fairchild Seminconductor, Hewlett-Packard, as well as the Stephen M. Cabrinety Collection in the History of Microcomputing (hardware and software collection). Donations accepted!


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One thought on “Stanford Archives and Special Collections

  1. Thanks for your great blog on archives at Stanford!

    Did you know that the Hoover Archives on campus contains 6,000 separate collections (50 million original documents) documenting political, social, and economic change in the modern era? Founded in 1919, the Hoover Institution Library and Archives also has 15 million documents on microfilm; upward of 15 million digitized images; more than 100,000 speeches, broadcasts, and historical records on audiotape and videos; and some 120,000 political posters?

    Some highlights include Chiang Kai-shek’s diaries, the Archives of the Soviet Communist Party, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty corporate and broadcast records. Our curators have listed more collection highlights on our website.

    Titles and abstracts of our collections can be found on Searchworks here. You can find inventories and registers for some of our collections on the Online Archive of California here.

    We highlight new accessions, recently processed collections, and quirky finds on our blog, Hoover Archivists’ Musings, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

    As part of the Stanford system, the Hoover Library and Archives are open to all Stanford affiliates as well as to the general public. Researchers only need a picture ID to register.

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