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Helping to Preserve a New History

Few areas in the world compare with the region known as Silicon Valley as a center of scientific and technological innovation. The rapid growth of high-technology industries has transformed society, and Silicon Valley scientists and engineers have left as their legacy such developments as the laser and the microprocessor, the personal computer, video and sound recording, the integrated circuit, video game technology, aerospace and office automation, high-energy physics, and recombinant-DNA. The centrality of Silicon Valley in the recent history of science and technology has made this region a major focus of scholarly and journalistic inquiry.

Pioneers of Silicon Valley
L-R:  William Hewlett, David Packard, and Frederick Terman, photographed at Stanford.  Frederick Terman Papers.

Even in a place where so much attention is focused on the future, it is important to value the past. This is the mission of the Silicon Valley Archives, housed in the Special Collections of Stanford University Libraries. To study the origins and development of Silicon Valley in detail, researchers require access to primary source materials –unpublished professional correspondence, research notes, diaries, journals, project files, technical reports, organization charts and other corporate records, patent applications, blueprints, company brochures, product documentation, photographs, and transcripts or recordings of speeches and interviews. These records are the building blocks of history. Stanford’s Silicon Valley Archives identify, preserve, and make this documentary record of science and technology –and related business and cultural activities in Silicon Valley available to students, scholars, and the general public.

 

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