Packard Humanities Institute

This is a logo owned by Packard Humanities Institute for infobox. (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Assets: $841,661,728



President and Chair:

David W. Packard

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $102,577,308

Expenses: $22,901,719

Assets: $841,661,728 1


  1. Return of Private Foundation (Form 990). Packard Humanities Institute. 2021. Part I.

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Packard Humanities Institute is an organization that funds preservation activities in archaeology, literature, music, and film. It was spun off from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 1999.


In 1999, the three daughters of David Packard, the technology industry businessman and Nixon administration official who founded the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, allowed David W. Packard to secede from the Packard Foundation with 11 percent, or $1.6 billion, of the Packard Foundation’s endowment. The resultant Packard Humanities Institute has spent down its endowment to $788 million, in part because of grant payout rates that have averaged 9.7 percent over the past five years.


According to its 2021 990 form, David W. Packard is listed as the President and Chair of the board for the Packard Humanities Institute. David Packard has a doctorate in classics and taught classics at the University of California, Los Angeles and other schools before becoming a full-time philanthropist. 1 2


Film Preservation

The Packard Humanities Institute’s principal effort in film preservation was being the primary mover behind the Packard Campus of the National Center for Audio-Visual Conservation, a branch of the Library of Congress located in Culpeper, Virginia. Packard bought the building, formerly used by the Federal Reserve to preserve currency in case of a nuclear attack, in 1997. The Institute spent ten years and $160 million renovating it before donating the building to the Library of Congress in 2007. The donation was the largest made by an individual to the U.S. government since James Smithson provided the endowment for the Smithsonian Institution in 1829. The Packard Campus continues to restore films and has a theatre that regularly shows old films.3

The institute has just completed a second film restoration project, completing at a cost of $180 million a building in Santa Clarita, California called the Stoa. It will house and preserve the collections of the UCLA Film and Television Archive, a collection that includes the largest collection of trailers and short subjects and the Hearst Movietone newsreel archive. The expense in part was due to constructing vaults capable of preserving highly flammable nitrate film. The Institute works with the Packard Foundation and the Stanford Theatre Foundation to preserve such classic films as For Whom the Bell Tolls, Meet John Doe, and Felix the Cat silent cartoons.4

Other Arts Programs

The Packard Humanities Institute also supports programs in archeology, music, and the preservation of scholarly papers. These projects include preserving Roman and Greek ruins and publishing the complete works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

In October 2022, it was announced that Packard Humanities Institute would be working in association with the Opera San Jose to revive and showcase “Cinderella,” an opera composed by British composer and musician Alma Deutscher in November 2022. 5


  1. Suozzo, Andrea, Alec Glassford, Ash Ngu, and Brandon Roberts. 2013. “Packard Humanities Institute.” ProPublica. May 9, 2013.
  2. For profiles of David W. Packard, see Tom Sabulis, “Silicon Cash, Silver Screen Love,” San Jose Mercury News, July 2, 1989, Mick LaSalle, “A Rich History Worth Saving (With Millions),” San Francisco Chronicle, August 13, 2000, and Kenneth Turan, “Reels of Classic Films Tend to Melt Into Goo:  Philanthropist David W. Packard Won’t Let That Happen,” Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2016, 
  3. Michael J. Gaynor, “Inside the Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation,” Washingtonian, April 2011,
  4. Kenneth Turan, “Reels of Classic Film Tend to Melt Into Goo.”  For a description of the Packard Humanities Institute Stoa, see
  5. Salazar, Francisco. “Opera San José to Revive Alma Deutscher’s ‘Cinderella’.” OperaWire. Opera Wire, October 19, 2022.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Arianna Packard Martell
    Board of Directors Member
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 1987

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $841,661,728 $3,378,099 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2019 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $805,709,837 $3,739,665 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $723,934,676 $5,032,895 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $794,849,800 $6,497,320 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $783,387,957 $20,563,285 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $642,321,496 $19,892,090 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $0 $0 $638,414,096 $8,925,955 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Packard Humanities Institute

    300 2ND STREET
    LOS ALTOS, CA 94022-3694