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!