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Guide to Company Archives

July 29, 2021 • History Factory

When organizations come to History Factory for help with recording and telling their histories for business purposes, such as for a corporate milestone or social media campaign, 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 a storage closet overflowing with vaguely marked boxes, or else an unwelcoming off-site bunker containing piles of papers and stacks of artifacts.

If your company is anything like the first one described, 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 of memorabilia, memos, photos, films, artifacts and the like into something accessible to employees both in the office and working remotely. Something that can help your organization save money, spark innovation, protect its IP and drive its future. Something quite valuable, in fact.

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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