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Guide to the Philip G. Zimbardo Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Sketch
  • Description of the Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Access Terms

  • Overview

    Call Number: SC0750
    Creator: Zimbardo, Philip G.
    Title: Philip G. Zimbardo papers
    Dates: 1953-2011
    Physical Description: 254 Linear feet 179 boxes
    Summary: The materials consist of research and teaching files, professional files and correspondence, audiovisual materials used in the classroom, professional papers and articles, and materials documenting the Stanford Prison Experiment.
    Language(s): The materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Special Collections and University Archives materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36-48 hours in advance. For more information on paging collections, see the department's website: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/spc.html.
    Repository: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Green Library
    557 Escondido Mall
    Stanford, CA 94305-6064
    Email: specialcollections@stanford.edu
    Phone: (650) 725-1022
    URL: http://library.stanford.edu/spc

    Administrative Information


    This collection was given by Philip G. Zimbardo to Stanford University, Special Collections in 2011-2012.

    Information about Access

    Files in Series 9 are restricted for 75 years from date of creation. Otherwise the collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 48 hours in advance of intended use. Audiovisual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy. Computer media series materials are in-process and currently unavailable.

    Ownership & Copyright

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Cite As

    [identification of item], Philip G. Zimbardo Papers (SC0750). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Processing Notes

    This collection was processed by Jenny Johnson and Daniel Hartwig with assistance from Kim Saloner, Sarita Hinojos, and Miriam Palm.

    Biographical/Historical Sketch

    Philip Zimbardo was born on March 23, 1933 in New York City. He attended Brooklyn College where he earned a B.A. in 1954, triple majoring in psychology, sociology and anthropology. He then went on to earn his M.A. in 1955 and his Ph.D. in 1959 from Yale University, both in psychology.
    He taught briefly at Yale before becoming a psychology professor at New York University, where he taught until 1967. After a year of teaching at Columbia University, he became a faculty member at Stanford University in 1968.
    Philip Zimbardo is perhaps best known for the Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted in the basement of the Stanford University psychology department in 1971. The participants in the study were 24 male college students who were randomly assigned to act either as "guards" or "prisoners" in the mock prison.
    The study was initially slated to last two weeks, but had to be terminated after just six days because of the extreme reactions and behaviors of the participants. The guards began displaying cruel and sadistic behavior toward the prisoners, while the prisoners became depressed and hopeless.
    Since the famous prison experiment, Zimbardo has continued to conduct research on a variety of topics including shyness, cult behavior and heroism. He has a authored and co-authored numerous books, including some that are widely used in university level psychology courses. Some people may recognize him as the host of the Discovering Psychology video series, which has aired on PBS and is often used in high school and college psychology classes. In 2002, Zimbardo was elected president of the American Psychological Association. After more than 50 years of teaching, Zimbardo retired from Stanford in 2003 but gave his last "Exploring Human Nature" lecture on March 7, 2007.
    Today, he continues to work as the director of the organization he founded called the Heroic Imagination Project. The organization promotes research, education and media initiatives designed to inspire ordinary people to act as heroes and agents of social change.

    Description of the Collection

    This collection documents the life of noted American psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo. The materials consist of Dr. Zimbardo's research and teaching files, professional files and correspondence, audiovisual materials used in the classroom, professional papers and articles, and materials documenting the Stanford Prison Experiment, for which he is perhaps best known.


    The materials are arranged in nine series: Series 1. Audiovisual Materials; Series 2. Born-Digital Materials; Series 3. Professional Files; Series 4. Publications and Writing; Series 5. Research Files; Series 6. Stanford Prison Experiment; Series 7. Teaching Files; Series 8. Oversized Materials; Series 9. Restricted Materials.

    Access Terms

    Abu Ghraib Prison.
    American Psychological Association.
    Bandura, Albert, 1925-
    Banks, W. Curtis
    Barbaranelli, Claudio
    California State Prison at San Quentin.
    Candid Camera, Inc..
    Caprara, Gian Vittorio
    Carducci, Bernardo J.
    Fraser, Scott C. (Scott Cameron), 1943-
    Funt, Allen, 1914-1999
    Haney, Craig
    Hearst, Patricia, 1954-
    Jaffe, David
    Jones, Jim, 1931-1978
    Layton, Deborah, 1953-
    Layton, Laurence
    Maslach, Christina
    Spain, Johnny
    Stanford University. Department of Psychology.
    Zimbardo, Philip G.
    Burn out (Psychology)
    Cognitive dissonance
    College teachers--Political activity.
    College teachers.
    Jonestown Mass Suicide, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978
    Mental illness
    Political psychology
    Prisoners of war--Psychology
    Psychology--Study and teaching.
    Social Psychology
    Stanford University--Faculty.
    Time perspective