Polaroid Corp. has donated 1.5 million items of their corporate archives to the Harvard Business School Baker Library (HBS). It is the single largest collection at Harvard; if put next to each other, all the shelves that house the Polaroid archives would fill 13 football fields.
The Polaroid collection consists of hundreds of thousands of paper documents including vintage advertisements, annual reports, and patent records from Polaroid founder Edwin Land, who had the second highest number of patents in history after Thomas Alva Edison.
The archive also includes artifacts such as military goggles, sunglasses, early camera models, and sample instant photographs.
Polaroid was founded in 1937 by Edwin Land, who was a Harvard student at that time, although the inventor left the university as a freshman to pursue the development of the polarizer, the basis for instant film and other optical devices. The company declared bankruptcy five years ago.
Portions of the Polaroid collection will be open to the research public in the summer of 2007, and other portions will continue to be released in series over the next few years.