Two new collections open for research: Helen and Newton Harrison & William Hewlett

April 26, 2016
Glynn Edwards
Helen & Newton Harrison, 1988

Stanford University Library’s Department of Special Collections has completed processing for two major collections: the Helen and Newton Harrison Papers and the William Hewlett Papers. The two projects were supported with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, respectively.

Helen and Newton Harrison papers

Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison are leading pioneers of the eco-art movement whose collaborative career began in the late sixties. Throughout their career, the Harrisons have worked with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to create projects that have focused on topics including climate change, watershed restoration, agriculture and urban renewal.

The Helen and Newton Harrison Papers is approximately 260 linear feet, the bulk of which documents the Harrisons’ many projects and includes correspondence, designs, sketches, planning, blueprints, notes, contracts and agreements, schedules, photographic material. The collection also contains a significant amount of material pertaining the Harrisons’ performances, exhibitions, writings, and interviews. Some photographic (project binders of slides) have been digitized as reference sheets and are available online; over 200 audiovisual elements have been digitized and are currently available in the Department of Special Collections’ reading room. An online finding aid is available at the Online Archive of CA.

Additionally, both the mixed born-digital files as well as the email accounts (both AOL and Gmail) have been processed and will be available from the reading room in May. Also in May, extracted entities (personal names, corporate names, and locations) from the Harrison’s email accounts will be available in the SUL’s email Discovery Module at

- Freya Channing and Lucy Waldrop

William Hewlett papers

William Hewlett was the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, one of the original tech startup companies. Hewlett and his business partner David Packard started their company in a small garage in Palo Alto, now considered by many to be the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Later in life, after the tremendous success of the company, Hewlett became a notable philanthropist. He donated millions of dollars to universities, schools, museums, and non-profits. In 1966, Hewlett and his wife started the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which became one of the largest private foundations in the United States.

The William Hewlett Papers is 291 linear feet, and documents his professional and personal life. It covers his many activities outside of Hewlett-Packard, how he invested his time and money, and his engagement with many organizations and individuals in business, politics, science, and academia. Audiovisual elements have been digitized and are available in the reading room. An online finding aid is available at the Online Archive of CA.

- Owen Ellis and Gurudarshan Khalsa