The Computer History Museum makes historic Apple documents available to the public

Financing OptionsThe Computer History Museum (CHM) announced today that it has, with permission from Apple Inc., posted two historic Apple corporate documents for public access. Apple’s Preliminary Macintosh Business Plan and Preliminary Confidential Offering Memorandum — its initial public offering (IPO) plan — are now available on the Museum’s website.

The documents provide rare insight into Apple as an early company and offer perspective on the technology industry at the time. The Preliminary Macintosh Business Plan and the Preliminary Confidential Offering Memorandum were generously donated to the Museum’s collection by Apple’s First Employee Dan Kottke and by original Apple Investor and Former Chairman Mike Markkula, respectively. The plans have been added to the Museum’s searchable online Catalog database, which currently contains more than 65,000 artifacts.

“These two documents provide a rare glimpse into Apple’s history as a company,” said John Hollar, the Computer History Museum’s President and CEO, in the press release. “Apple has grown into such a corporate icon that it’s a special treat for us to see its dawn as a business — right down to the handmade corrections on the first financial projections in the offering document. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to provide this fascinating insight into Apple’s early history and tell a small part of the company’s historic story.”

The 30-page Preliminary Macintosh Business Plan, released internally within Apple Computer in 1982, describes the market position the Apple Macintosh could fill between home computers, such as the TRS-80, and business machines, like the Xerox 820. The Macintosh was announced in 1984, two years after the date of the plan.

Apple’s Preliminary Confidential Offering Memorandum, issued ca. 1977, is a 38-page comprehensive competitor analysis and product roadmap. This document describes and provides early insight on Apple’s “computer ecosystem” strategy for product development, which still exists within the company today.

More details on each of the Apple documents here.

The Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, Calif. is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history, and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images.

CHM brings computer history to life through an acclaimed speaker series, dynamic website, onsite tours, as well as physical and online exhibits. Current exhibits include “Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 2,” “Mastering the Game: A History of Computer Chess,” “Innovation in the Valley” — a look at Silicon Valley startups — and the unique “Visible Storage Gallery,” featuring over 600 key objects from the collection.

The signature “Computer History: The First 2,000 Years” exhibit will open in late 2010.

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