Guide to the Jim Armstrong collection of Apple material

Finding aid prepared by Bo Doub, Kim Hayden, and Sara Chabino Lott.
Processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA, 94043
(650) 810-1010
August 2015

Title: Jim Armstrong collection of Apple material
Identifier/Call Number: X2768.2004
Contributing Institution: Computer History Museum
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 12.92 Linear feet, 10 record cartons and 1 manuscript box
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1983-1997
Date (inclusive): 1976-1997
Abstract: The Jim Armstrong collection of Apple materials is made up of items Armstrong collected related to Apple Computer, Inc., where he worked in a variety of roles from 1983 to 1997. Included are manuals, internal Apple documents, periodicals and books, materials related to conferences, technical notes and reports, promotional items, product catalogs, directories, price lists, and specifications, all dating from 1976 to 1997. While the majority of items in the collection are related to Apple, a small amount of material from other companies can be found throughout the collection.
creator: Armstrong, Jim, 1948-

Processing Information

Collection processed by Bo Doub and Kim Hayden, August 2015.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

The Computer History Museum (CHM) can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claims of the copyright holder. Requests for copying and permission to publish, quote, or reproduce any portion of the Computer History Museum's collection must be obtained jointly from both the copyright holder (if applicable) and the Computer History Museum.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], [Date], Jim Armstrong collection of Apple material, Lot X2768.2004, Box [#], Folder [#], Catalog [#], Computer History Museum.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jim Armstrong, 2003.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jim Armstrong was born December 14, 1948 in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended college at Madison Area Technical College and received a BS in physics in 1968. After graduating, Armstrong worked for various companies, including Aurora Systems, Inc. as Vice President of sales. Starting in 1983, Armstrong started working for Apple as a Sales Support Engineer. In 1984 he was promoted to Competitive Analyst, and then in 1986 to Technology Evangelist. Finally, in 1994 Armstrong began his last position at Apple as Senior Support Engineer, which continued until 1997. Since leaving Apple, Armstrong has worked at Cisco Systems, Inc., Redstone Software, CompUSA, and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in different sales and information technology-related roles.
Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976. Apple is now a multinational technology company that has designed, developed, and sold highly popular consumer electronics products, including the Macintosh line of computers, iPod media player, iPhone, and iPad tablet computer. Apple has also developed online services and consumer software, which include iCloud, the iTunes Store, Safari web browser, and OS X and iOS operating systems. In 2014, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over $700 billion.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Jim Armstrong collection of Apple materials consists of records relating to Apple Computer, Inc. from 1976 to 1997, with the bulk of the collection being from 1983 to 1997 when Armstrong was an employee of Apple. The collection contains manuals, Apple administrative records, publications, conference proceedings, and promotional material that document Apple's early products and reception by the public. The Apple II, Lisa, Apple III, and the original 1984 Macintosh are all featured in the collection in various versions and stages of development. Armstrong worked for Apple primarily in sales and marketing and the collection reflects these roles.


The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1, Manuals, 1978-1996
Series 2, Apple administrative records, 1979-1995
Series 3, Books, periodicals, and reports, 1978-1995
Series 4, Conference and workshop material, 1983-1997
Series 5, Catalogs and directories, 1976-1995
Series 6, Promotional material, 1976-1997

Separated Material

Hardware, software, ephemera, and media items were separated from the main collection. The hardware includes a PhoneNET Connector model PN-209, Apple model A9M0050 mouse, Apple Macintosh board with MacMEGABYTES memory card, Apple Talk interface, and Apple MIDI adaptor. The software includes Apple-related packaged items and close to 400 loose CD-ROMs, 3.5” disks, and 5.25” disks. The ephemera and media include Apple calendars, buttons, ticket stubs, invitations, stickers, business cards, notepads, zipper pouches, trivia cards, and an abacus. The media includes 16 instructional and informational audiotapes related to Apple and general computing, 7 audiotapes of the spring 1986 COMDEX conference, and close to 200 videotapes related to Apple and general computing. To view catalog records for the separated items please search CHM's online catalog at 

Related Collections at Other Repositories

Apple corporate history collections, Stanford University, 

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Apple II (Computer)
Apple III (Computer)
Apple Computer, Inc.
Armstrong, Jim, 1948-
Lisa computer
Macintosh (Computer)


Manuals, Series 1, 1976-1996

Language of Material: English

Series Scope and Content

This series, the largest in the collection, is made up almost entirely of Apple manuals from 1976 to 1996. Included are manuals for the Apple II, Lisa, Apple III, and Macintosh lines of computers and their compatible software, programming languages, and components. Also included are service guides for Macintosh support technicians. There is a very small number of manuals for products and companies other than Apple, such as Videx, Mostek, Zilog, PCMCIA, MIDI, and the Lolly personal computer. This series is arranged alphabetically by title.

102734310 Apple II 1978-1991


102734313 Apple III 1980-1983


102734308 Lisa 1982-1984


102734317 Macintosh 1984-1995


102734307 Non-Apple products 1976-1993


102734309 Software and components compatible across Apple lines 1982-1996


Apple administrative records, Series 2, 1979-1995

Language of Material: English

Series Scope and Content

This series contains correspondence, memoranda, annual reports, and resources used internally at Apple. The largest part of this series relates to Apple product development and management. These product-related materials are often proposals for future Apple products, drafts of manuals and product descriptions, or correspondence between Apple employees about product pricing, release issues, and product testing. Apple products addressed in these records include the Apple II and III, the 1984 Macintosh, Lisa, HyperCard, and LaserWriter. Another significant portion of this series is comprised of sales resources, such as product descriptions and price lists, written for Apple employees and resellers of Apple products. This series also contains reference information for Apple developers, personnel records, policy manuals and employee handbooks, annual and quarterly reports, internal periodicals and newsletters, records relating to Apple events, and market research and analyses -- with which Armstrong was directly involved. One highlight of this series is a group of records about a public relations project, titled Project Peoria, designed to exploit an "old town adopts new technology" perspective. The project was to choose a small town, which ended up being Jacksonville, Oregon, then to launch small business marketing activities, generate awareness and interest among small businesses for Apple's new products, and position new product benefits to small business customers. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

102734311 Annual and quarterly reports 1983-1989


102734315 Apple Developer Group 1989-1994


102734316 Events 1984-1994


102734319 Internal periodicals and newsletters 1982-1995


102734314 Market research and analyses 1983-1994


102734320 Personnel 1983-1987


102734280 Policies, reference guides, and training materials 1983-1993


102734327 Product development and management 1980-1998


102734312 Project Peoria 1990


102734318 Sales resources 1979-1995


Books, periodicals, and reports, Series 3, 1978-1995

Language of Material: English

Series Scope and Content

This series is made up of books, magazines, journals, newsletters, clippings of articles, and reports from 1978 to 1995. The books in this series are on topics such as digital computers, computer networking, local network technology, Apple II, ProDOS, and PostScript. The magazines, journals, and newsletters focus on computer technology, with several that are specific to Apple, including the magazines Macworld and MacUser and newsletters AppleDirect and Apple Exchange. Reports include Apple technical reports, Macintosh technical notes, and papers on information delivery and work styles. This series is arranged alphabetically by title.

102709888 Beneath Apple ProDOS 1984


102734321 Clippings 1985-1993


102734330 Lazy person's guide to better nutrition, The 1984


102709597 Local network handbook, The 1982


102734323 Magazines and journals 1980-1995


102734322 Newsletters 1981-1989


102676492 PostScript language tutorial and cookbook 1985


102734328 Reports 1985-1993


102734324 Understanding computer networks 1989


102734329 Understanding digital computers 1978


102709857 Understanding the Apple II 1983


Conference and workshop material, Series 4, 1983-1997

Series Scope and Content

This series contains program materials, conference proceedings, presentation material, and records from various workshops and events. About half of the material in this series relates to events held by Apple and the other half are from non-Apple conferences. The Apple events include various years of the Macworld Exposition and Apple developers conferences, the 1987 Apple Worldwide Sales Conference, presentation material for a 1988 Interactive Multimedia Conference, the 1995 Apple New Media Forum, and course material from the 1984 Apple Service Datacomm Workshop. The non-Apple events reflected in this series include COMDEX (Computer Dealers' Exhibition), National Computer Conference (NCC), CeBIT, National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), Seybold, and the West Coast Computer Faire. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

102734343 Apple conferences and workshops 1984-1995


102734344 Apple developers' conferences 1986-1997


102734342 COMDEX (Computer Dealers' Exhibition) 1985-1994


102734335 Computer conferences and expositions 1983-1997


102734333 Macworld Exposition 1987-1988


102734339 National Computer Conference (NCC) material 1984


Catalogs and directories, Series 5, 1976-1995

Series Scope and Content

This series contains catalogs, directories, price lists, and product lists and overviews published from 1976 to 1995 by Apple and other companies in the computer industry such as IBM, Oracle, Adobe, Cromemco, Texas Instruments, Mostek, Claris, and many others. Apple materials make up the bulk of this series. The catalogs feature hardware, software, and computer accessories, as well as two catalogs featuring Apple-branded merchandise like clothing, office supplies, and other gifts and accessories. The directories contain lists of products and the contact information for the companies that make or sell them. Price lists show the price of various computer products; the bulk of these are for Apple and IBM products. Product lists and overviews provide detailed specifications and information about computer products, providing information on how to order them. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

102734332 Apple catalogs 1979-1995


102734334 Apple directories 1988-1994


102734331 Apple price lists 1979-1984


102734336 Apple product overviews and specifications 1981-1995


102734337 Non-Apple catalogs 1976-1995


102734340 Non-Apple directories 1983-1994


102734338 Non-Apple price lists 1977-1985


102734341 Non-Apple product overviews and specifications 1977-1995


Promotional material, Series 6, 1976-1997

Series Scope and Content

This series contains promotional materials from 1976 to 1997 that advertise products by Apple and other companies in the computer industry, such as Symantec and Adobe. The majority of items are brochures and booklets, but there are also press releases, press kits, oversized fold-out advertisements, and an Apple table display. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

102734305 Apple promotional material 1981-1997


102734306 Non-Apple promotional material 1976-1995