When organizations come to History Factory for help with recording and telling their histories for business purposes, such as for a brand overhaul or a leadership transition, we typically start our research in their corporate archives. Sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised that the organization has a securely housed, readily accessible archives with a coherent archival plan, overseen by a staff archivist with formal training and a passion for both history and the company. More often than not, however, we’re directed to storage closet overflowing with messy boxes or servers crammed full of ambiguously named files in no particular order.

If your company is anything like the former, congratulations. Please keep doing what you’re doing. If, on the other hand, you’re like the majority of companies and your archives resembles the latter example, it’s not too late to transform your boxes and drives of memorabilia, memos, photos, films, artifacts and the like into something accessible, usable and valuable. Something that can help your organization save money, spark innovation, protect IP and drive its future.

This guide can help you move from disarray to order. It provides context for the important role of archives in contemporary business. It will also cover some practicalities that might not be obvious when creating and maintaining the archives, as well as future trends in archiving.

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