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Business archives : historical developments and future prospects Hives, Christopher 1985

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INESS ARCHIVES: HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS BY CHRISTOPHER L. HIVES M.A., UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, 1981  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARCHIVAL STUDIES THE FACULTY OF ARTS Administered by School of L i b r a r y , A r c h i v a l and Information Studies and Department of H i s t o r y  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard:  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA MARCH 1985 (c) Christopher L. Hives  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the  the  University  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference  and  study.  I  further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may department or by h i s or her  be  granted by the head of  representatives.  my  It i s  understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l not be allowed without my  written  permission.  Department of  School of  Library,  Archival  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  DE-6  (3/81)  March  25,  1985.  and  Information  Studies  ABSTRACT  This  thesis  archives  attempts  have not  suggest  the  situation.  Although  discusses archives  such  university, confront  which this  easily as  be  related for  union,  archival  programme  involves  must  justification  cultural  place  business archives  purposes  be  criteria.  clearly  underlying  theme  of  to  been e v i d e n t respond  society. than  he  to the changing  and  This requires that accepted  custodian An  on  diverse  the a r c h i v i s t  of  r e c o r d s has  met  community.  Rather  the c u l t u r a l  a strictly with  only  than  benefits  development historical limited  attempting  (important ii  as  an  usually rather  of  is  the  need  to convince they are)  in  modern  a broader  business  criterion  success  to  flexible  of  "retired"  of  the  of a r c h i v e s t h a n  accept  of  to  community.  o f t e n s e r v e d as a  analysis  of  This  requirements  a w a i t i n g the a r r i v a l  that  value  is sufficiently  patiently  illustrates  municipality,  discussion  the r o l e  which  corporate  study aims o v e r a l l  thesis  i n t h e p a s t , when he  the  a  i n our  view of  issues  administrative  broader  this  i n t h e p a s t , one  it  demonstrated.  to serve  f o r m u l a t e a more c o m p r e h e n s i v e has  a  the  A l l corporate archives  Therefore, this within  the to  practical  primarily  w h i c h a r c h i v e s ought  The  the  to  specifically  f o r m s of  of  and  correct  of  to other  example,  that  based  than  many  business  America  to  itself  or h o s p i t a l .  t h e common p r o b l e m  why  i n North  necessary  archives,  those,  labour  are  reasons  study addresses  of b u s i n e s s  can  the  been w i d e l y d e v e l o p e d  changes  the e x p e r i e n c e  to identify  role  passive  documents. archives  for maintaining the  corporate  b u s i n e s s m e n as t o be  derived  to  from  the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of an a r c h i v a l programme, prudent  to  rendered  emphasize  to  proposition  the  new  sponsoring  the t h e s i s f i r s t  potential  The  In  this  influencing  then  suggests  new areas i n t o which c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v i s t s might move.  such  those  as  factors  determining a  appraisal  which  will  and access and, f i n a l l y , be  particularly  the  identifies  important  in  the f u t u r e success of business a r c h i v e s . In assuming  broad  approach t o the study of c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v e s , the  t h e s i s r a i s e s some fundamental q u e s t i o n s about of  exploring  and  more  which c o u l d be  c o n s i d e r s the elements archives  be  study a l s o d i s c u s s e s the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of these changes f o r  issues  such  services  agencies.  the h i s t o r i c a l growth of b u s i n e s s potential  i t might  the  orientation  a r c h i v a l p r o f e s s i o n and, as such, may c o n t r i b u t e t o the  f o r m u l a t i o n of a r c h i v a l  theory.  iii  TABLE OF.CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  ii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  v  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER II HIS TOR I CAL DEVELOPMENT  9  CHAPTER I I I JUSTIFYING CORPORATE ARCHIVES  46  CHAPTER IV IMPLEMENTATION - ARCHIVES, RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT  63  CHAPTER V APPRAISAL AND ACCESS  81  CHAPTER VI FUTURE PROSPECTS  106  CHAPTER VII CONCLUSION  1 20  APPENDIX I  1 28  BIBLIOGRAPHY  133  iv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I would l i k e t o express my a p p r e c i a t i o n t o the f o l l o w i n g individuals who read v a r i o u s d r a f t s of t h i s t h e s i s and o f f e r e d some very h e l p f u l comments - Dr. F.H. Armstrong, Bryan Corbett, Vicky Williams, Bob T a y l o r - V a i s e y , Garron Wells, C h r i s Norman and Dr. Richard P o l l a y . I am a l s o indebted t o my classmates, Diane B e a t t i e , David B u l l o c k , James F r a s e r , Glen Isaac, Robin K e i r s t e a d and Jan R o l l i n s who, through numerous d i s c u s s i o n s over the past two years, helped me t o formulate my ideas about archives. I would l i k e t o thank Angela Redish whose p a t i e n c e i n reading and r e r e a d i n g the v a r i o u s d r a f t s of t h i s thesis contributed significantly t o i t s f i n a l form. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e t o acknowledge my g r a t i t u d e t o T e r r y Eastwood and Hugh Taylor who c h a l l e n g e d me t o c o n s i d e r the subject of a r c h i v e s i n something beyond i t s t r a d i t i o n a l c o n f i n e s .  1  CHAPTER I  INTRODUCTION  In 1938, a young government a r c h i v i s t w r i t i n g in the fourth issue of the American A r c h i v i s t made the f o l l o w i n g o b s e r v a t i o n . The h i s t o r i a n of the future who seeks to i n t e r p r e t our contemporary l i f e without t a k i n g i n t o account the shaping forces of modern business w i l l but touch on the f r i n g e s of the s u b j e c t . For more than a generation people have spoken of two c a p i t a l s , Washington and Wall S t r e e t . . . . W e are c a r e f u l to preserve the records of one c a p i t a l , but we have sadly neglected the other. 1  Although  almost  f i f t y years have passed since O l i v e r W. Holmes  penned these remarks, the future of uncertain.  During  this  period  business  the  archives  efforts  to  preserve the  records of our business and economic past have met with degrees  varying  of success and, in the process, have r a i s e d a number of  i n t e r e s t i n g i s s u e s , some shared by general  remains  the  archival  community  in  and others unique to the corporate world. The a r c h i v i s t  who dares to tread in the business world, c o n t r o l l e d as i t i s by the ever present "bottom l i n e " , i s i n many respects s t i l l l i k e a p i o n e e r , confronting novel s i t u a t i o n s and bounded  only  by  his  appreciate  the  imagination. *  *  Increasingly,  *  *  academics  have  *  come  important r o l e played by businessmen and historical  development  of  North  to  entrepreneurs  America.  In  in  the  surveying  the  American experience, Harvard h i s t o r i a n Ralph W. Hidy noted  this  2  enhanced awareness. We have developed a business c i v i l i z a t i o n . No other s i n g l e group i n our s o c i e t y has been more influential in raising our standards of l i v i n g , i n s e t t i n g the d i r e c t i o n of our i n s t i t u t i o n a l and s o c i a l changes, i n affecting our national practices and i n t e r n a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s . Only by understanding what businessmen have done and t h e i r ways of doing i t can we get a r e a l i s t i c appraisal of the broad history of the American people. 2  Historian  Roger  Hall  echoed  t h i s sentiment  i n o b s e r v i n g that  "Canada i s a country which owes i t s e x i s t e n c e more than most the e f f o r t s of business f i r m s . " Although  scholars  to  3  have  slowly  come  to  p o t e n t i a l value of h i s t o r i c a l business r e c o r d s ,  recognize the  the  same  does  not g e n e r a l l y h o l d true f o r business e x e c u t i v e s . In studying the treatment  accorded  t h i s century one all  old  the  by businesses e a r l y i n  which had  f u l f i l l e d any  The e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g volume of  "housecleaning" f u n c t i o n a l or records  (including  unpleasant  in  attics,  documents at the  whatever  facilities  warehouses  mercy  of  and  fire,  would  be  could  basements),  mildew,  ravages. Viewed as l i a b i l i t i e s ,  systematic gradual  permanently  be  secured  leaving  vermin  or  the  equally  these dusty and musty  destroyed p e r i o d i c a l l y to make room f o r more  identification recognition valuable  for  the  or p r e s e r v a t i o n of a r c h i v a l r e c o r d s . of  records  the  importance  of  preserving  i s b a s i c a l l y a phenomenon of the  l a t t e r h a l f of the 2 0 t h c e n t u r y i n North America, still  legal  associated  recent m a t e r i a l . Such an approach made l i t t l e allowance  The  of  t r a n s a c t i o n of business g e n e r a l l y f o r c e d companies to  store o l d material  records  records  tends to witness a p e r i o d i c  documents  requirements. with  historical  not yet a widely accepted p o s t u l a t e .  although  i t is  3  Unfortunately, corporate  the  role  organizations  of  has  been  terms w h i c h have o f t e n s t i f l e d Justification only  limited  of  archival  programmes  defined  necessary  i n very  resource  i n the  field.  This  is,  by  businessmen.  Instead  met  be  and  One  spokeman  inadequate  p r e s e r v a t i o n of c o r p o r a t e  with  not  to  shouldered  t h e blame must be  historians  of  archivists.  has  however,  s u g g e s t t h a t t h e blame f o r t h i s d e v e l o p m e n t s h o u l d primarily  restricted allocation.  archives using c u l t u r a l c r i t e r i a  success  within  shared  attributed  by the  documentation to a v a r i e t y  factors including: ...a p e r s i s t e n t f a i l u r e to appreciate the research significance of b u s i n e s s r e c o r d s and company p a p e r s ; t h e c o n c e r n of e x i s t i n g b u s i n e s s e s f o r c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y and d i s c r e t i o n r e g a r d i n g a c c e s s t o certain materials and their desire that research have o n l y p o s i t i v e p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s v a l u e ; t h e c o s t and s c a r c i t y of the s p a c e a n d s t a f f r e q u i r e d f o r s t o r a g e , a n a l y s i s and t h e management of v o l u m i n o u s r e c o r d s , t h e l a r g e p o r t i o n o f which i s e i t h e r r o u t i n e or d u p l i c a t e . 4  Also  to  this  profession  past  can  to provide  the p r a c t i c a l In  list  r e q u i r e m e n t s of  programmes  years,  the  one  have  Motor  annivesary  Company  accomplishments  over  hundreds  of  that  many  flexible  archival to  serve  A  frantic a  typical  in  1953  set  out  the  past  fifty  years  i n b i t s and files,  in  a r c h i v e s over  corporate  during  to complete  history.  which  the  business.  implemented  i n s t i t u t i o n a l memory was through  sufficiently  observes  been  f a i l u r e of  growth of c o r p o r a t e  h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l necessary hundredth  added the  a product  considering  fifty  be  archival  searches  fiftieth instance to and  or  i s the review  for oneFord its  "discovered i t s  pieces p h y s i c a l l y dozens  the  of  diffused  locations."  C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e company moved q u i c k l y t o e s t a b l i s h  a  5  central  4  repository  for  the  records  founder. U n f o r t u n a t e l y ,  of  this  the  company and  approach  has  led  n e g l e c t of important  c o r p o r a t e documentation and  destruction  before  coming  many c a s e s ,  important  under  those of i t s to  long-term  i t s inadvertent  the care of the a r c h i v e s . In  r e c o r d s necessary  to w r i t e the a n n i v e r s a r y  h i s t o r y had a l r e a d y been d e s t r o y e d . Interest in the past  i n the r e c o r d s of business has been growing slowly few  decades.  In  1980,  The D i r e c t o r y of  A r c h i v e s i n the United S t a t e s and Canada programmes pf v a r y i n g s i z e and established.  after  i960.  s i t u a t i o n of business sizable  number  archival  of  6  scope, These  archives companies  programmes.  As  75%  of  figures  is have  Harold  reported  not  suggest  recognized  Anderson  210  which  totally  has  Business archival had that  bleak, the  been the as  value  a of  optimistically  observed: Business a r c h i v e s are coming of age as more and more companies reap the b e n e f i t s of t h e i r most u s e f u l and inexpensive corporate a s s e t s . Time-worn documents, leather bound l e d g e r s , long forgotten cartons of admininstrative f i l e s and faded photographs are being dusted o f f and i n t e g r a t e d with computer p r i n t o u t s , magnetic tapes, m i c r o f i l m s and l a s e r d i s c s , to c r e a t e i n f o r m a t i o n data bases p o t e n t i a l l y as powerful as any a c o r p o r a t i o n has at i t s d i s p o s a l . 7  Unfortunately,  there  idealized role  of  has  not  archives  in  been widespread support the  business  world  f o r the such  as  Anderson d e s c r i b e s . -Although  a  fairly  e x t e n s i v e l i t e r a t u r e on the subject of  business archives e x i s t s , l i t t l e common  themes  acceptance of  more  are  that  of i t i s very p e n e t r a t i n g .  archives  have not enjoyed  i n the c o r p o r a t e s e t t i n g and programmes  would  be  that  the  Two  widespread  establishment  h i g h l y d e s i r a b l e . Many a r t i c l e s  5  m e r e l y make a p l e a f o r g r e a t e r p r o m o t i o n o f  business  archives.  W h i l e most a r t i c l e s g e n e r a l l y a d d r e s s some o f t h e b e n e f i t s t o be derived  from  corporate  a r c h i v e s , they  consider  their  unique problems  or  i s s u e s . The l i t e r a t u r e h a s f a i l e d myriad  potential  fulfill, and  functions  particularly  information  emphasis p l a c e d from  other  analyse  a  Also,  Such  f o r determining  underlying  archives  there  with  records  criteria?  should  more  flexibility  have  the  of  character  archives important  the  of t h e b u s i n e s s  primarily  entire  t o argue  to  fulfill  I f n o t , d o e s t h e a r c h i v i s t who j u s t i f i e s h i s administrative  utility  in public  of the r o l e of business  comprehensive of  records  business  considerations  be p r e s e r v e d  might  h a s been t o o l i t t l e  i n the f u t u r e . For example, i s i t r e a l i s t i c  discussion  a  adequately  the  business  s h a r e common g o a l s w i t h h i s c o u n t e r p a r t  to  to  t o discuss comprehensively the  which  management.  programme on t h e b a s i s o f  A  fail  through a c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n  archives.  that business cultural  to  on f a c t o r s w h i c h d i s t i n g u i s h  ramifications profession  often  archivist calls  of  contributes  the  evolving  be a r g u e d , t h e p o s i t i o n  f o r s o m e t h i n g more t h a n  academic  training  i n h i s t o r y . The t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n o f t h e a r c h i v i s t  passive  collector  particularly accepts there  best of  this  expanded  of  perception  in existing  the  articles  place of business  means f o r i m p l e m e n t i n g t h e i r the  literature  as  documents from which t o w r i t e h i s t o r y i s  inappropriate f o r the business  is little  overview  of  to  institutions?  archives  determination  t h e p r o f e s s i o n . As w i l l  continue  does,  of  archivist.  If  one  the r o l e of a r c h i v i s t s , which  archives  presents  broad  i n s o c i e t y and t h e  establishment.  however, p r o v i d e  a  A  close  study  the opportunity f o r  6  some s y n t h e s i s  and  re-examination  of  the  underlying  issues  a s s o c i a t e d with corporate a r c h i v e s . One  of  the  major problems i n any d i s c u s s i o n of corporate  a r c h i v e s i s that of d e f i n i t i o n . Business a r c h i v e s are to  c h a r a c t e r i z e because they vary s i g n i f i c a n t l y  volume of m a t e r i a l s maintained. a  difficult  i n s t a f f i n g and  Programmes might be operated  s i n g l e , p a r t - t i m e employee or as many as ten f u l l - t i m e  staff;  c o l l e c t i o n s may range from ten t o many thousands of l i n e a r In o f f e r i n g a comprehensive d e f i n i t i o n of  an  ideal  by  feet.  operation,  Douglas Bakken made t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n . A true c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v e s i s not simply an i n f o r m a t i o n operation, nor does i t c o n s i s t of records haphazardly s o l i c i t e d and maintained by a well-meaning, devoted and longtime employee. Nor i s a c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v e s a department that saves every p i e c e of paper the company c r e a t e d s i n c e i t s founding. I t i s n e i t h e r a library that o r g a n i z e s m a t e r i a l on an item-by-item system nor a records management program concerned about the d e s t r u c t i o n of r e c o r d s . A more a p p r o p r i a t e d e s c r i p t i o n for a c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v e s i s a department s p e c i f i c a l l y charged with the systematic a c q u i s i t i o n , p r e s e r v a t i o n and servicing of c o r p o r a t e historical records and artifacts deemed t o be of permanent value in documenting the company's founding and subsequent growth. 8  This' description negative  outlines  to  archival consider  programmes. these  of  these  p r e s e r v a t i o n of  the  thesis  Archivists  such  as  in-house  positive  and  implementation  would  be  well  they endeavour to operations.  The  p r i v a t e a r c h i v e s w i l l determine the l e v e l of  documentary  p l a y e d such a v i t a l This  of  reflections  persuade businessmen to sponsor success  some  f a c t o r s which must be c o n s i d e r e d i n the  of c o r p o r a t e advised  aptly  history  of  business,  r o l e i n the development of North is  i s s u e s a s s o c i a t e d with  which  has  America.  intended t o address a number of important North  American  business  archives.  It  7  reviews  the general h i s t o r i c a l development of business archives  and i d e n t i f i e s some of the e a r l y trends in the f i e l d ; the  considers  various functions which an a c t i v e corporate programme could  f u l f i l l and the problems  best  means  of  implemention;  the  particular  presented by a p p r a i s a l and access and, f i n a l l y ,  offers  some thoughts about future courses of development. In f u l f i l l i n g these expressed o b j e c t i v e s , the t h e s i s a l s o understanding  of  the  contributes  justification,  archives, this thesis perspective more  for  flexible  an  r e l a t i o n s h i p of business archives to the  broader a r c h i v a l community. In i t s d i s c u s s i o n of the development,  to  appraisal  stresses  the  and  historical  access in business  advantages  of  a  broader  the r o l e of archives and the need to develop a product  to  meet  i n c r e a s i n g l y diverse audience.  the  requirements  of  an  8  NOTES O l i v e r W. Holmes, "The Evaluation and Preservation Business A r c h i v e s , " American A r c h i v i s t 1 (1938), p. 173. 1  of  Wilbur G. Kurtz, "Business Archives in the Corporate F u n c t i o n , " Records Management Quarterly 4 (1970), p. 6. 2  Roger H a l l , (1976/77), p. 73. 3  "Minding  Our  Business,"  Archivaria  3  "T.H.B. Symons, To Know Ourselves: The Report of the Commission on Canadian Studies (Ottawa: A s s o c i a t i o n • of U n i v e r s i t y and Colleges of Canada, 1975), p. 78. Henry E. Edmunds, "The Ford American A r c h i v i s t 15 (1952), p. 99. 5  L i n d a Edgerly, "Business A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 286. 6  Motor  Archives  Company A r c h i v e s , "  Guidelines,"  Harold P. Anderson, "Business A r c h i v e s : A s s e t , " American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 264. 7  Douglas A. Bakken, "Corporate A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 281. 8  Archives  A  Today,"  American Corporate American  9  CHAPTER  II  HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT  A study of the evolution America  reveals  the  preservation in the involved  the  of  business  emergence first  half of  two  of  this  distinct  in  North  methods  century.  The  of  first  business  records  in  existing  r e p o s i t o r i e s while the second featured an  attempt  to  persuade  businesses  collection  of  archives  to maintain t h e i r own a r c h i v e s . The p a r t i c i p a t i o n of  i n t e r e s t e d academics played an important the  direction  role  in  establishing  for both of these approaches. Consequently,  this  chapter considers both the h i s t o r i c a l e v o l u t i o n of the treatment accorded to business records historical  as  well  as  the  development  of  methodology. This approach i s p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l in  providing a better understanding of the evolving practical  considerations  inherent  in  the  attitudes  and  preservation  of  business records in North America. In the historians  late in  nineteenth  the  United  and  early  States  twentieth  centuries,  and Canada expressed l i t t l e  i n t e r e s t in business and economic h i s t o r y , p r e f e r r i n g instead to concentrate assessing  on the  h i s t o r i a n s of primary  political nature the  emphasis  and  constitutional  subjects.  of t h i s focus, R.A. S h i f f suggested that  period  were  "too  European  oriented  with  on s o l d i e r s , p o l i t i c i a n s and e c c l e s i a s t i c s . "  The lack of i n t e r e s t in studying the l i v e s and impact American  In  businessmen  of  1  North  and t h e i r e n t e r p r i s e s led to a neglect of  the sources and, as a r e s u l t , much of  the  early  documentation  10  disappeared and can never be r e p l a c e d .  2  The e a r l i e s t commentators who turned t h e i r a t t e n t i o n to the rise  of  business  practices  of  the  muckrakers  who  commenting  on  after era  the  Civil  highly  War  found  distasteful.  the  They  business were  the  developed the notorious "robber baron" myth. In their  impact,  Allan  Nevins  offered  this  assessment. Business was sordid and i n part a n t i - s o c i a l . It was n a t u r a l that the a t t i t u d e of the critics and mudrakers, e s p e c i a l l y as i t was backed by reformers from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson onward, should be t r a n s f e r r e d to the minds of teachers and the pages of standard t e x t s . The u g l i e r passages in business h i s t o r y were emphasized, the brighter chapters f o r g o t t e n . The f a c t that business morals, l i k e p o l i t i c a l morals, were in a state of evolution upward was i g n o r e d . 3  This the  negative  incre a s i n g  commentators  a t t i t u d e toward business was perpetuated by  influence  of  the  Marxist  and  socialist  who viewed c a p i t a l i s m as inherently e v i l . However,  as h i s t o r i a n O.E. Burnette has cautioned, one must remember that the " e a r l i e s t h i s t o r i a n s of reformers, were Ida M. (1904),  American  business  were  political  not o b j e c t i v e s c h o l a r s . " " Among the e a r l i e s t studies Tarbell's,  Gustavus  The H i s t o r y of the Standard O i l Company  Myers' H i s t o r y of the Great American Fortunes  (1907) and A History of Canadian Wealth (1914), Charles and Mary B e a r d ' s , The Rise of American C i v i l i z a t i o n  (1927)  and  Matthew  Josephson's, The Robber Barons (1934). Allan  Nevins  view of business was  has  suggested that t h i s negative,  inevitable,  given  that  there  one-sided were  few  business records a v a i l a b l e for study during the f i r s t quarter of the  twentieth century.  In f a c t , a v a i l a b i l i t y of source material  11  may have been a moot point because u n t i l the r i s e of schools  of  business,  difficult  to  and  then  even  give  or  business  "university  administration,  it  was  would-be h i s t o r i a n s a s p e c i a l i z e d t r a i n i n g ,  they  had  no  proper  facilities."  In  5  such  circumstances, the u n f l a t t e r i n g view of business continued to be the norm. One  of  objective  the  major  business  documentation.  factors  history  "American  hindering  was  corporate  behind a p r o t e c t i v e screen of closed  the  the development of lack  business books  of  adequate  grew to maturity  and  locked  files,  thereby breeding a mutual d i s t r u s t between i t s e l f and h i s t o r i c a l judgment."  6  Businesses  rarely  preserve t h e i r records often This  bothered  opting  to  c o l l e c t , sort and  instead  for  grew out of the t r a d i t i o n in the l a t e nineteenth and early  twentieth c e n t u r i e s business  which  held  that  a  man  the  or  a  company's  was a matter of l e g i t i m a t e concern to that man or that  company alone and there was l i t t l e i n t e r e s t in to  destruction.  prying  eyes  of r e s e a r c h e r s .  7  opening  records  Even those i n t e r e s t e d in  w r i t i n g business h i s t o r y without the muckraking d i s p o s i t i o n were handicapped by the lack of a v a i l a b l e records and many turned  to  secondary  of  various  sources, government  suggested  that  to  including  court  investigations. "write  the  records Historian  history  sources i s much l i k e w r i t i n g the h i s t o r y of records  reports Ralph  Hower  of business from such marriage  from  the  of divorce c o u r t s . It y i e l d s part of the story - indeed  an e s s e n t i a l p a r t , but one that whole  and  truth."  8  This,  in  gives  little  inkling  of  the  t u r n , perpetuated the negative, one-  sided assessment of business.  12  Company o f f i c i a l s were potential  damage  to  the  particularly reputation  concerned  of  the  muckraking  era  had  a  the  the f i r m which might  r e s u l t from h i s t o r i c a l research. The animosity during  about  which  developed  l i n g e r i n g e f f e c t , as A l l e n  Nevins observed. Even when the president of the corporation was ready to give the h i s t o r i a n access some d i r e c t o r would r a i s e an angry o b j e c t i o n : "What good would i t do to i n v i t e the h i s t o r i a n i n ? " he would ask. "How can we be sure that he i s not a wolf in sheep's c l o t h i n g ? - that he i s not another Gustavus Myers masquerading as a Francis Parkman?....he may f i n d out about those frauds on the government back in the 1890's - about that treasurer who was dismissed for embezzlement, although i t was a l l hushed up - about those shady a d v e r t i s i n g p r a c t i c e s ! No! Be d i s c r e e t ! L e t ' s keep our d i r t to ourselves. 9  The tendency to e i t h e r destroy company records both  grew  deny  access  out of and perpetuated the negative view of business  which emerged in the muckraking p e r i o d . corporate  or  Fear of  1 0  injuring  the  reputation prevented the generous access to m a t e r i a l s  necessary to produce an objective account of the c o n t r i b u t i o n of e a r l y business e n t e r p r i s e s . For these reasons, the view  of  emerging  unflattering  corporations continued to strongly  influence  a t t i t u d e s in the e a r l y twentieth century. Although a powerful force twentieth  century,  the  in  muckraking  the  first  approach  business d i d not go unopposed. This period advent  of  objective  business  history  quarter to  also  of  the  the study of witnessed  the  and the development of  associated resources p a r t i c u l a r l y around a u n i v e r s i t y whose name has become synonomous with the study of business.  The  idea  of  c o l e c t i n g business manuscripts for s c h o l a r l y research began on a limited  basis  at  Harvard U n i v e r s i t y s h o r t l y a f t e r the turn of  the century. Interest in preserving business records was further  13  enhanced by the foundation of the 1908  under  Business  School  in  the d i r e c t i o n of Edwin F. Gay. In 1916, the l i b r a r y  reported i t s f i r s t s i z a b l e business  Harvard  acquisition  when  it  obtained  the  records of Samuel S l a t e r who, by the time of h i s death  in 1835, was generally regarded as the country's leading t e x t i l e industrialist.  1 1  Support and encouragement for the records  was  provided  by  the  collection  foundation  of  of  business  the  Business  H i s t o r i c a l Society in 1925. The expressed mandate of the Society was to ...encourage and a i d the study of the e v o l u t i o n of business in a l l periods and in a l l c o u n t r i e s . Further, to formulate the r e s u l t s of such i n v e s t i g a t i o n s and studies and p u b l i s h them in such a form as may make them of service to the business community n e c e s s i t a t e s adequate t o o l s for such i n v e s t i g a t i o n s . This means the c o l l e c t i o n of a l l p o s s i b l e o r i g i n a l records, d a t a , e t c . having to do with the beginning and progress of business, and the depositing of t h i s m a t e r i a l at some centre a c c e s s i b l e to a l l . For these reasons the g e t t i n g together of an adequate and comprehensive l i b r a r y of such data i s e s s e n t i a l to the purpose of the S o c i e t y . 1 2  Much  of  the enthusiasm generated by the Society was channelled  i n t o the c o l l e c t i o n and preservation of preservation  of  archival  records.  business records was furthered two years l a t e r  with the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the Baker L i b r a r y whose main was  to  provide  corporate  Harvard School of Business. repository  The  documentation It  also  for  served  objective  research at the as  the  official  for the business records c o l l e c t e d by members of the  Business H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . For a b r i e f period the Baker material  from  all  Library  acquired  historical  over the country and there was some thought  given to the concept of making  it  a  national  repository  for  14 business  records.  However, upon recognizing the magnitude of a  national  project,  such  grandiose  plans  were  judged  to  be  impractical. Sheer bulk of documentation, which had closed other doors to business records, soon swamped the f a c i l i t i e s of an i n s t i t u t i o n devoted e x c l u s i v e l y to their c o l l e c t i o n . The Baker L i b r a r y was soon forced to retreat to the more r e s t r i c t e d f i e l d of the business records of New England, but i t s pioneering work c o n c l u s i v e l y demonstrated that the c o l l e c t i o n of business records for h i s t o r i c a l research was p o s s i b l e and w o r t h w h i l e . 13  In recognizing the need early  1930s,  the  to  Baker  specialize  geographically  limited  the  L i b r a r y decided to return a number of  c o l l e c t i o n s to t h e i r places of o r i g i n . Although accepted  in  many  libraries  amounts of corporate records, i t was becoming  apparent that t h i s could not be done on a large scale by  public  institutions. F r a n c i s Blouin has pointed out that the e f f o r t s of both the Business H i s t o r i c a l Society and the Baker L i b r a r y c o i n c i d e d with the  "first  formal  attempts to e s t a b l i s h business h i s t o r y as a  s p e c i a l i z e d f i e l d of  historical  attempts  business a d m i n i s t r a t i o n as an academic and  to  professional individuals  define field such  of as  inquiry." Edwin  F.  research,  1 4  Through  as  well  the  early  efforts  of  Gay, Norman Gras and H e n r i e t t a  Larson based at Harvard U n i v e r s i t y in the 1920s, business  as  the  study  of  h i s t o r y became i n c r e a s i n g l y r e f i n e d and more o b j e c t i v e  in i t s outlook. In providing a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of the emerging f i e l d i n 1944, Gras suggested: Business h i s t o r y is not romance or scandal, propagandist expose or hero-worshipping. I d e a l l y , i t i s an earnest attempt to l e a r n and set down in an orderly fashion the f a c t s and ideas that have underlain the organized plan of using c a p i t a l and employing men in order to serve s o c i e t y ' s n e e d s . 15  15  The  ability  to produce the o b j e c t i v e s t y l e of business h i s t o r y  as advocated by Gras remained contingent upon the w i l l i n g n e s s of business  to  collecting  provide  access  material  in  to  its  records.  The  from  business  of  e x i s t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s was motivated in  part by a d e s i r e to t r a n s f e r the burden of cost of away  idea  and,  thus,  preservation  removing one of the important  b a r r i e r s to academic research. By the second half of the 1930s, i t  became  apparent  that  the Baker model of c o l l e c t i n g business records was not p r a c t i c a l given  the  growing  volume  of m a t e r i a l and t h i s concept slowly  gave way to an a l t e r n a t i v e view. O l i v e r Holmes observed that 1938 companies were l e s s e n t h u s i a s t i c about having t h e i r removed  by  records  from t h e i r o f f i c e s because they might have need to make  reference to them o r , more importantly, the information contained scrutiny.  could 1 6  be  used  This e l i c i t e d  against a  new  them  response  if  open  from  therein  to  the  public academic  community as i n d i c a t e d by Holmes. . . . t h e s o c i a l and economic h i s t o r i a n s d i d not want to leave the ultimate preservation of valuable records to chance, nor d i d they want to wait forever for a c c e s s . . . . I n t h i s dilemma, knowing that they could not care for these bulky records, and that he could not get them i f he c o u l d , the h i s t o r i a n set about persuading the large companies to consider the value of t h e i r own records and make p r o v i s i o n s accordingly for t h e i r c a r e . 1 7  This,  then, represented the beginning of the corporate archives  movement and the slow s h i f t away from the  idea  of  centralized  c o l l e c t i o n s of business records. In pursuing t h i s new approach to ensure the preservation of historical  business records, Holmes suggested that the Business  H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ' s pamphlet by h i s t o r i a n Ralph M. Hower,  "The  16 Preservation  of  should  be widely  d i s t r i b u t e d to businesses. Hower's pamphlet, aimed at  educating  businesses,  Business  Records"  libraries,  (1937),  historical  societies  and  others  i n t e r e s t e d in the preservation of business records, acknowledged that few of the records generated by corporations had value.  His  interest  centred  on  long-term  that m a t e r i a l with permanent  value which he believed to have important i m p l i c a t i o n s for three d i s t i n c t groups — business i t s e l f , h i s t o r i a n s and public.  the  general  1 8  Because  Hower  approached  the  issue  h i s t o r i a n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , many of h i s weighed  heavily  Consequently,  in  much  of  favour his  primarily  comments  of  and  research  rationalization  from the  suggestions requirements.  for  preserving  corporate records was couched in such terms as these. ...if company records are s y s t e m a t i c a l l y destroyed, the researchers w i l l be obliged to r e l y on inadequate data, such as human r e c o l l e c t i o n s and source m a t e r i a l from outside the company, which often y i e l d an incomplete or misleading r e p o r t . I f , on the other hand, a l l firm records are preserved, without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , the researcher w i l l have to waste precious days and weeks digging through irrelevant material. 1 9  One  of  Hower's  recurring  themes, the need to r e l a t e the  o b j e c t i v e story of business, reveals more than the  history  as  was  negative  of  impression  s o c i e t y . Hower's firm b e l i e f in archival  in  deeply  affected  by  the  tendency of business l i t e r a t u r e toward muckraking as  w e l i as the profound e f f e c t lasting  interest  an academic exercise and r e f l e c t s something of  the period in which he wrote. He prevailing  an  records  from  which  the of  depression  the the  to  impact importance  write  which  left  a  of business upon of  accurate  preserving accounts of  1 7  business a c t i v i t i e s derived from what he perceived to be a  very  r e a l threat to the p r e v a i l i n g order of s o c i e t y brought on by the recent depression. Business must fr a n k l y face the fact that the p u b l i c u l t i m a t e l y w i l l decide whether p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e is to continue or i s to be s t i f l e d in favour of some other economic system. If p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e i s worth saving, business records w i l l help us prove i t s u s e f u l n e s s . It i s c l e a r too that the p u b l i c may, i f i t acts without information, ultimately destroy a valuable institution which has been p a i n f u l l y developed over hundreds of years and can be r e b u i l t only at great c o s t . It i s , t h e r e f o r e , to the advantage of both the p u b l i c and business that the h i s t o r i c a l records of business be preserved and s t u d i e d . 2 0  Hower's historical  stated purposes  objective was  to  in  selecting  records  for  "choose m a t e r i a l which w i l l  yield  accurate and reasonably complete information about of  the  business  f i n a n c e s , personnel,  -  production,  accounting  every  distribution,  and  plant."  phase  management, Unfortunately,  2 1  Hower's c r i t e r i a for a p p r a i s a l were weak in two areas. F i r s t , he failed  to  define  what  material  should be preserved and as a  r e s u l t i t seemed that v i r t u a l l y everything should Secondly,  because  Hower  focused  on  the  be  retained.  i n d i v i d u a l f i r m , he  valued o p e r a t i o n a l records at the expense of the m a t e r i a l cast  the  company  within a broader synthesis and r e f l e c t e d the  place of the business in the general.  2 2  Because  which  these  overall themes  economy  did  and  society  in  not become prominent in  business historiography u n t i l l a t e r , i t i s  not  suprising  that  Hower f a i l e d to a n t i c i p a t e them. In  assessing  the c o n t r i b u t i o n s of the Business H i s t o r i c a l  Society which culminated in the sponsorship of Hower's pamphlet, Francis Blouin judges i t to be  a  "model  archival  enterprise"  18  wherein  scholars  in  the  field  met  regularly  with business  e x e c u t i v e s , l i b r a r i a n s , curators and together they to  define  business  i n q u i r y and to  history  collect  a b i l i t y to r e s e a r c h e r s . Blouin  worked  both  as a s p e c i f i c f i e l d of h i s t o r i c a l  historical  records  and  ensure  their  23  lauds both the s p i r i t of cooperation evident in the  e a r l y development of the Society and the leadership e x h i b i t e d by h i s t o r i a n s in attempting to preserve the While  the  idea  of  developing  records  of  cooperation i s sound and s t i l l  worthy of p u r s u i t , the l e a d e r s h i p of h i s t o r i a n s in although  business.  this  quest,  commendable, was an important factor i n the f a i l u r e of  t h i s experiment. Understandably, h i s t o r i a n s continued to  justify  the preservation of corporate records for research purposes, and hence lobbied for access to  materials  from  which  they  could  w r i t e t h e i r h i s t o r i e s . L i k e Hower, most h i s t o r i a n s believed that their  work  would  represent  a  significant  contribution  business. Although the preparation of unbiased help  to  dispel  of  would'  the negative image of business as developed by  muckrakers, i t o f f e r e d l i t t l e else in functioning  histories  to  individual  firms.  concrete While  terms  appealing  for to  the those  businessmen predisposed to an i n t e r e s t in h i s t o r y , t h i s approach held l i m i t e d appeal and,  consequently,  the  early  cooperative  s p i r i t began to d i s s i p a t e s l o w l y . This  is  not to suggest an inherent f a i l u r e on the part of  h i s t o r i a n s but rather to observe that the undertaking was doomed from  the  historians  outset. because  The  leadership  role  inevitably  fell  to  that p r o f e s s i o n was slowly awakening to the  p o t e n t i a l research value in corporate records. Businessmen  were  19 unsuited  to  this  task  because  they  did not appreciate what  functions old records could f u l f i l l within the organization  and  often viewed them simply as l i a b i l i t i e s . The a r c h i v a l profession was only in i t s infancy in the 1930s and among the small band of a r c h i v i s t s few, with Holmes a notable exception, were interested in  the  problem  of  preserving  waning of the cooperative Society,  historians  business  spirit  continued  of to  records. Despite the  the  Business  Historical  influence the d i r e c t i o n and  success of business a r c h i v a l programmes for many years to come. In archives  addition and  to  supporting  the  formation  need  to  preserve  the  repositories  Holmes  also  recognized  records of defunct and s m a l l - s c a l e  o p e r a t i o n s . He advocated the idea of central  corporate  using Hower's pamphlet to convince businessmen of  the importance of a r c h i v a l programmes. the  of  focused  by  establishing industry  and  co-operative geographical  l o c a t i o n . The a r c h i v a l records accumulated in t h i s fashion would f a c i l i t a t e research i n t o vast warehouses calculated,  business  of  knowledge  year. " 2  Holmes recognized the problems hindering  the  preservation  business records and, in advancing h i s ideas about corporate  a r c h i v e s , he hoped Although  little  that  swift  action  would  Henrietta  be  forthcoming.  gain was i n i t i a l l y r e g i s t e r e d in the corporate  community, the Society of American A r c h i v i s t s and  he  was w i l l i n g to finance the undertaking to  the amount of f i v e m i l l i o n d o l l a r s per  of  if,  Larson  of  appointed  Holmes  the Business H i s t o r i c a l Society to a  Business Archives Committee in 1938. Holmes  suggested  a  point programme which i n c l u d e d : . . . t h e c o l l e c t i o n of information on a r c h i v a l work on business records and of data on trade and management  n i ne-  20  a s s o c i a t i o n s i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n to r e c o r d problems; the development of a means to prevent wanton d e s t r u c t i o n of business records; and the s t i m u l a t i o n of interest on the part of business o r g a n i z a t i o n s and officials. 2 5  The  concept of corporate  received concrete-expression of permanent value Firestone  archives,  i n the  were not being  J r . decided  f i r s t mooted by Holmes,  1 940s. F e a r i n g  to implement an a r c h i v a l programme at  Rubber Company i n 1943.  The  for  the  preserve  production future  records  business and recognized  archives  which  historians  would  writing  industry. other  records  p r o p e r l y maintained, Harvey  F i r e s t o n e T i r e and establishing  that  2 6  was  to  provide  about  the  primary  valuable war  S. the  purpose  the wartime sources  for  e f f o r t of American  An a s t u t e businessman,  p o t e n t i a l b e n e f i t s growing out  Firestone  also  of the a r c h i v a l  programme. In a d d i t i o n to a f a c t u a l r e c o r d of the growth and development of the company, Mr. F i r e s t o n e J r . wanted for reference an accurate account of the problems that had confronted the company and the methods used to solve them. T h i s , he f e l t , would be h e l p f u l not only in conducting the d a i l y a f f a i r s of business but also in c h a r t i n g i t s f u t u r e c o u r s e . 2 7  F i r e s t o n e thus p e r c e i v e d for  w r i t i n g h i s t o r y . He  which, in  the a r c h i v e s as much more than a source considered  i t a p o t e n t i a l corporate  by r e f l e c t i n g the p r a c t i c e s of the past, would be  formulating  f u t u r e p o l i c y . In 1943,  h i s company  s e r v i c e s of h i s t o r i a n W i l l i a m Overman who first  official In  became  the  1940s,  particularly  "collecting" Society  corporate  some two  useful  secured  the  became North America's  archivist.  the problems presented by business acute.  tradition,  tool  as  Those  who  begun  by  decades e a r l i e r , had  subscribed  records to  the  the Business H i s t o r i c a l  f a i l e d to develop adequate  21  appraisal c r i t e r i a care  or  to reduce  the volume of m a t e r i a l under  p r o v i d e adequate means of access to the i n f o r m a t i o n i n  t h e i r h o l d i n g s . Arthur Cole has suggested 140  l i b r a r i e s and h i s t o r i c a l  and business  manuscripts.  Although  the  that by t h i s time some  s o c i e t i e s were c o l l e c t i n g  met  problems  economic  28  Business  Historical  Society,  sponsorship of Ralph Hower's pamphlet, attempted the  their  through to  its  deal  with  presented by modern business r e c o r d s , i t s e f f o r t s  with only l i m i t e d s u c c e s s . In the 1940s,  the  interests  of  the S o c i e t y ' s members focused i n c r e a s i n g l y on the development of business  history  as  a  f i e l d of study and moved away from  a r c h i v a l c o l l e c t i o n o r i e n t a t i o n which had experience. suggested  In r e f l e c t i n g on t h i s s h i f t  that i n i t i a l  dominated  its  the  early  i n i n t e r e s t , B l o u i n has  successes were d i f f i c u l t  to repeat.  The t h r i l l of d i s c o v e r i n g e i g h t e e n - and nineteenthcentury banking, textile and other b u s i n e s s records q u i c k l y gave way t o concern r e g a r d i n g the problems of dealing with the bulky l a t e - n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y and e a r l y - t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y r e c o r d s . The Hower p i e c e was designed to h e l p a r c h i v i s t s come to g r i p s with the problem, but businesses were growing in size and complexity even as he w r o t e . 2 9  The  records  of  r a t e s . In 1943,  business  C a r l McKenzie, a  experience, observed threatened clerical  to  were  3 0  businessman  at by  unprecedented training  and  t h a t the e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g volume of m a t e r i a l  retard  staffs.  accumulating  He  the  functioning  cited  two  of  reasons  a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and for  the  changed  c o n d i t i o n of business r e c o r d s . Two c o n s i d e r a t i o n s have changed the a t t i t u d e toward t h i s q u e s t i o n i n the l a s t decade: the l a r g e r s i z e and complexity of the b u s i n e s s u n i t and the p a t e r n a l i s t i c a t t i t u d e of government sometimes over z e a l o u s l y a c t i v e in the p r e v e n t i o n of r e a l or d o u b t f u l e v i l s under the influence of new-era p o l i t i c a l i d e a s . Concommitent with t h i s p r o t e c t i v e i n t e r e s t of government has come a  22  g r o w i n g r e a l i z a t i o n on t h e part of business itself t h a t more s y s t e m a t i c p r o c e d u r e s a r e n e c e s s a r y t o g u a r d against future detrimental or burdensome developments. 3 1  McKenzie advocated preservation a  the  need t o d e v e l o p  of c o r p o r a t e  classification  systematic  r e c o r d s based  scheme  on  the  w h i c h would e n s u r e  retention  and  implementation  of  t h e d e s t r u c t i o n of  useless material. As  evidence  businessmen  of t h i s  and  growing concern  historians,  the  Economic H i s t o r y r e q u e s t e d  Arthur  Harvard  and  Business  Historical  School  inherent  business  records.  of U n s o l v e d  in 3 2  Problems", Cole  presented  physical  q u a n t i t y of  mechanism  supplies." librarians those  3 3  and  In  identified  and  equating Cole  archivists  both  J o u r n a l of of  the  the  the  Business practical  accessibility  Accumulated two  of  librarian  outlining  "The  recent business  this  Development  distinct  areas  - "the  r e c o r d s , and  of  the  of  bulk lack  of of  s c h o l a r s ' demands w i t h  librarians'  meant  historians,  had  simply  failed  most  that  to adequately  useful  in  the  identify  course  of  research.  reviewing  identified  the  member of  preservation  r e c o r d s w h i c h w o u l d • be  historical  of  Cole,  article  part  by modern b u s i n e s s m a n u s c r i p t s  for By  H.  In h i s a r t i c l e ,  concern  [a]  the  the  editor  long-time  S o c i e t y , t o w r i t e an  problems  on  the  two  the  alternative  s c h o o l s of  thought  methods of t r e a t m e n t , on  the  Cole  subject.  The o l d e r one has been t h e s e a r c h f o r or a c c e p t a n c e of gifts or deposits from business institutions by universities, h i s t o r i c a l s o c i e t i e s , and t h e l i k e . The o t h e r i s of more r e c e n t d e v e l o p m e n t and consists of the endeavour to persuade business i n s t i t u t i o n s to p r e s e r v e t h e i r own m a t e r i a l . " 3  Cole concluded  that while  i t might  be  possible  to  house  most  23  business  records  produced  before  a r c h i v a l r e p o s i t o r i e s , the rendered  this  sheer  1890  in existing l i b r a r y  volume  of  modern  and  materials  o p t i o n unworkable f o r a l l but a t i n y f r a c t i o n of  modern r e c o r d s . He then c o n s i d e r e d other f a c t o r s which m i l i t a t e d against  preservation  "internal  in  specific  procedures  the m a t e r i a l , l a c k of  f o r h a n d l i n g and  Cole  then  turned  his  development  in  own  or  frequency of  attention  which, f i r s t mooted by O l i v e r W. their  standards  archival  to  records.  the second  Cole  of the recently-implemented  businesses  to  solution  that business reviewed  maintain  their  own  success records,  h i s t o r i a n s Shepard B. Clough and Thomas C. Cochran focused e f f o r t s on the New greater  York m e t r o p o l i t a n  volume of important  the U n i t e d S t a t e s . " to  preserve  "together papers  3 6  area  which  records than any  documentation,  warehouses." companies  37  to  in  I t was  vaults, their  introduce  private goal  they  systematic  "prevail methods  attempts  suggested vastness  libraries  to  "a  s i m i l a r s e c t i o n of  [they] b a r e l y r u f f l e d the s u r f a c e of the reposing  their  contained  In a s s e s s i n g the success of past  corporate  the  Clough-Cochran approach  p r e s e r v i n g business r e c o r d s . R e a c t i n g to the l i m i t e d encouraging  the  3 5  use.  Holmes, suggested  and  recognized  s e t t i n g up business r e c o r d s , and  high c o s t of storage versus the low  to  Emphasizing  elements of h a n d l i n g " , Gole c i t e d the e x t r a space  s t a f f to handle  maintain  repositories.  and upon  for  that of  storage business  condensing,  a b s t r a c t i n g , and c a t a l o g u i n g such records as they possess with a view t o make them  available  officers  of  particular  witnessed  one of the f i r s t  to  both  companies."  competent 38  organized and  scholars  Consequently, concerted  and  the 1940s  efforts  to  24  make the  business  aware of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of i t s own  the  tremendous  indeed t i m e l y p a r t i c u l a r l y  growth  in  the  production  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , many records even when r e t a i n e d were  example the case of the economist of  railroad  s t a t e , requested first later  the  rates  the  company  roundhouse  the  of  records. company  t h e i r use. Take  when  studying  company's  attempted to dissuade  at  light  the  p r o d u c t i o n of g r a i n i n h i s  access to the r a i l r o a d  r e l u c t a n t l y granted him  old  on  who,  in of  by  o f t e n s t o r e d i n a manner which discouraged  effect  an  and  importance of t h e i r p r e s e r v a t i o n i n an o r d e r l y f a s h i o n . Such an e f f o r t was  for  records  him  records.  At  from h i s task  but  p e r m i s s i o n . He was  then d r i v e n  the o u t s k i r t s of town where the  to  records  were s t o r e d . Once i n s i d e the dark, unheated b u i l d i n g , the economist found himself face to face with a vast collection of s e v e r a l thousand l a r g e wooden storage boxes c o n t a i n i n g l i t e r a l l y some s i x t y m i l l i o n i n d i v i d u a l documents. The entire c o l l e c t i o n was p o o r l y l a b e l l e d and u n i v e r s a l l y covered with a t h i c k l a y e r of c o a l dust. Although his ardour had visibly c o o l e d , the researcher began h i s p e r u s a l of the f i r s t box. A f t e r hours of continuous labour he laid a s i d e the l a s t document of the f i r s t box. H i s white s h i r t was by now more than a "tattletale" grey, h i s face showed a smear of c o a l dust from under one eye to the lobe of the ear on the opposite side of h i s head. He had t o r n one l e g of h i s t r o u s e r s and l e f t h i s thumb throbbing from being struck sharply by the hammer while p r y i n g o f f the l i d of the box. In the four hours he had made but one note on the t h i c k pad of r e s e a r c h cards he had t h o u g h t f u l l y provided h i m s e l f before coming to work. I t read 'next time wear overalls'. That note must have been penned during the e a r l y p a r t of h i s l a b o u r s , however, f o r there was no next t i m e . 3 9  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s s c e n a r i o was the e a r l y e f f o r t s to preserve In order to address Business  a l l too common an occurrence  the records of  such problems the New  Records,was e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1943  in  business. York Committee on  under the d i r e c t i o n of  25  Clough  of  Columbia  University  and  Cochran  of  New  York  U n i v e r s i t y . The committee a l s o i n c l u d e d the deans and l i b r a r i a n s of  the b u s i n e s s schools of Columbia and New York U n i v e r s i t y , the  directors  of  the  New  York  Public  Library  and the New York  H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , the l i b r a r i a n of the Baker Business at  Harvard,  seven prominent businessmen and four p r o f e s s o r s from  Columbia and New York U n i v e r s i t y . " The  Library  0  committee, which sought t o educate companies about the  importance of t h e i r o l d c o r p o r a t e records and  to  provide  them  p r a c t i c a l a s s i s t a n c e i n developing a records programme, began by drawing  up  interested  a  list  of  corporate  given  committee,  and  a  presentation  then,  if  they  by  might  be  just  nature of the  sufficient  records  to  involved.  representatives  of  the  showed any i n t e r e s t , they were  provided with a q u e s t i o n n a i r e . The -  who  i n the business a r c h i v e s i d e a . These i n d i v i d u a l s were  contacted,  minimum  executives  questions provide Some  were  kept  some i n s i g h t of  the  key  to  a  i n t o the questions  included: How a r e the records of your company organized and what periods of time do these records cover? What i s the p o l i c y of the company concerning the d i s p o s a l of records? Has the company p l a n s f o r a h i s t o r y ? Under -what circumstances w i l l the records be made a v a i l a b l e to q u a l i f i e d s c h o l a r s ? Would you welcome the a d v i c e of a p r o f e s s i o n a l business a r c h i v i s t or h i s t o r i a n on the matter of your business r e c o r d s ? * 1  Convinced the  t h a t most companies had f a i l e d to come t o  problem of records accumulation  terms  and that too l i t t l e  with  control  was e x e r c i s e d over the p r e s e r v a t i o n of  historically-significant  m a t e r i a l , Clough and Cochran proclaimed  the need f o r a new  of wise  professional records  who  policies  would so  "help the o f f i c e r s that  those  breed  in establishing  manuscripts  will  be  26  preserved  which  contain  information  essential  to  department, the b u s i n e s s a n a l y s t , the h i s t o r i a n , the  classification,  records."'  2  storage  understand storage To  library  methods  problems.' promote  New  York  in  business  and  as  new  of  the  be  history  the  handling  b u s i n e s s a r c h i v i s t o r more p r o p e r l y a r e c o r d s m a n a g e r , s h o u l d business  that  supervise  a  in  suggested  day-to-day  and  legal  professional,  trained  Cochran  and  the  economics  well  as  and  record  should a l s o handling  and  3  t h e g r o w t h o f t h e new  p r o f e s s i o n , Columbia  University established a special archival  t r a i n i n g . The  internship  and  programme  course d e s c r i p t i o n  read  as  follows: T r a i n i n g i n t h e management o f b u s i n e s s m a n u s c r i p t s and business l i b r a r i e s i s provided through lectures and i n t e r n s h i p s . S t u d e n t s r e g i s t e r i n g f o r t h i s c o u r s e must be prepared t o d e v o t e a t l e a s t t h r e e months of f u l l t i m e d a i l y work t o g a i n i n g p r a c t i c a l experience in designated l i b r a r i e s and b u s i n e s s c o m p a n i e s . S t u d e n t s completing t h i s course i n a d d i t i o n to Business H i s t o r y 275-276 w i l l be recommended a s trained archivists. Registrants must c o m p l e t e t h e f u l l c o u r s e t o r e c e i v e credit." Acknowledging  t h a t some  of  the  largest  corporations  already  employed a r c h i v i s t s or r e c o r d s managers, Cochran complained none  of  these  individuals,  b u s i n e s s h i s t o r y . He rectified creating may  as  that  filling  w r i t e b u s i n e s s h i s t o r y as w e l l  the  same  in  knowledge,  this  time  a  alleviating a  rather  had  deficiency with  studied would  as  the  limited  c o r p o r a t e s e t t i n g and  manage  the  view  of of  the  5  (while  storage  r e f l e c t s the  who  records."*  of b u s i n e s s h i s t o r y problem  be  "companies  them w i t h y o u n g s c h o l a r s  a s c r i b e d to the w r i t i n g  companies) r e v e a l s archives  his  a w a r e n e s s o f t h e programme s p r e a d  s u c h p o s i t i o n s and  This p r i o r i t y at  envisaged  to  that  value  for of  i n f l u e n c e of  27  the academic background of objectives  of  the  programme  a r c h i v e s as a p r a c t i c a l  initial  a r c h i v e s was business  heading  failed  corporate  founding of the F i r e s t o n e This  those  to  tool  attempt  to Cole.  He  establishing  a  cautioned  that while i t might be p o s s i b l e  positions,  it  would  professional, the  preservation  fill  both  researcher.  a s i t u a t i o n . He  be from  in  the  others  in  of the  emergence  to  proposed  programme  find  6  an of  Cole  individuals  business a r c h i v i s t  advantageous  to  employ and  the advantages a r i s i n g out  optimistically  of  sedentary, as  the company's p e r s p e c t i v e  In a s s e s s i n g  corporate  i n business a r c h i v e s . "  these more  interest  comprehensive  manuscript  to  The  the value  important  viewed  a r c h i v i s t s , some i t i n e r a n t and  companies  stress so  nurture  business  within  programme.  archives.  applauded by  important step i n  the  a  that of of  such  proposed:  Indeed, one may perhaps look upon the development of the new profession as especially significant in several relationships: the appreciation by the companies - at l e a s t the l a r g e r ones - of the importance of t h e i r own p a s t s , t h e i r d e s i r e to put the material in shape a p p r o p r i a t e f o r the use of o u t s i d e students, and their willingness to extend their e f f o r t s at good p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s to include w r i t e r s of history." 7  Blouin,  in assessing  suggested that the  i t represented  preservation  i t provided  the  effort  the  of  the  importance of Cole's a benchmark i n  article,  attitudes  has  towards  of business manuscripts i n three ways. F i r s t ,  initial  summary  Business  preserve business records.  statement  Historical But,  by  of  Society 1945,  the to  twenty-year collect  enthusiasm  for  and the  c o l l e c t i o n of business records  and  recognition  s o l u t i o n to the a p p r a i s a l problem  that no p r a c t i c a l  the l i k e became "mired in the  28  c o u l d be found and that t r u l y adequate documentation c o u l d never be  housed  within  repositories."" The  second  academic  a  confines  of  academically  oriented  8  notable f e a t u r e about C o l e ' s a r t i c l e was  had been s o l i c i t e d reflected  the  that i t  f o r the J o u r n a l of Economic H i s t o r y , and  general  community  concern amongst  for  thus  business r e c o r d s w i t h i n the  economic  as  well  as  business  h i s t o r i a n s . As B l o u i n puts i t : The f u s i o n of i n t e r e s t l e d to a broad-based s c h o l a r l y c o n s t i t u e n c y supporting e f f o r t s to p r e s e r v e business records. In an era when h i s t o r i a n s focused on i n s t i t u t i o n s , the business f i r m was r e c o g n i z e d as a critically important power. Thus i n w r i t i n g the history of the economy from the institutional perspective, l e a d i n g s c h o l a r s c o u l d not h e l p but be concerned about the c o n d i t i o n of business r e c o r d s . " 9  Blouin's t h i r d benchmark was war  period  criteria  for  judging  the  article  a c t u a l l y the r e v e r s e s i d e of the second. witnessed  the  rise  of i n t e r v e n t i o n i s t  as  The  a  post-  government  which became preoccupied with the c o l l e c t i o n of s t a t i s t i c s . T h i s t r e n d , combined with the r i s e of s o c i a l s c i e n c e , allowed f o r the emergence of aggregate which  replaced  specific split  the  i n v e s t i g a t i o n s using t h e o r e t i c a l former  i n d i v i d u a l approach of f o c u s s i n g on  institutional histories.  between  the  models,  interests  5 0  of  This, in turn, r e s u l t e d in a the  business  and  economic  historians. . Thus, the strong c o a l i t i o n of i n t e r e s t s t h a t argued f o r resources (both financial and intellectual) to collect and preserve the records of U.S. business h i s t o r y began to break apart along d i s c i p l i n a r y and methodological lines. Consequently, the post-war economic boom, much of which benefited U.S. c o r p o r a t i o n s , l e d to an expansion the l i k e of which no economy had ever seen. For the United S t a t e s , t h i s resulted i n , among other things, megacorporations generating records of such bulk t h a t , even i f saved,  29  no The  s c h o l a r c o u l d grasp i n the course of a  d e c l i n i n g organized  important  i n t e r e s t on the p a r t  consequences  although the  the  example  generated  by  Cochrane, only a  handful  Armstrong  INA,  programs  the  Cork, in  the  "businesses  academics  by  David  such  and  latter  the  as  Time,  and  Inc.,  Kodak e s t a b l i s h e d a r c h i v a l has  important f i l e s . . . t h e r e  the company museum."  records  such as Holmes, Cole  Smith  where some businesses were saving  had  1950s.  Firestone  companies Eastman  u n t i l the  suggested  not yet convinced of the wisdom of  their h i s t o r i c a l l y  The  felt  individuals  and  1940s.  were  provided  of  of  5 1  r e t e n t i o n of business  f u l l e f f e c t s would not be  Despite enthusiasm  for  lifetime.  was  preserving  only  t h e i r h i s t o r y , and  that  one  area  t h i s was  in  52  part of the  1940s witnessed the emergence of a  number of d i v e r s e , l o o s e l y - a s s o c i a t e d committees which u n i t e d form the N a t i o n a l Records Management C o u n c i l . The Council  is  interesting.  In  1946,  the  o r i g i n of  Society  of  to  "embrace  predecessors."  53  a  somewhat  Robert A. S h i f f . Cochran was  the Committee of Business A r c h i v e s (A.H.A.) and,  along  of  the  Naval  preliminary similar  Records  Centre  task of the committee was  5  independently e s t a b l i s h e d . " "  its  served  with  a l s o chairman of Historical  with Leahy, a l s o sat on the  Management  committees r e p r e s e n t i n g  Business than  American  York Committee on Business.Records. S h i f f was the  field  Emmett J . Leahy became chairman and  Thomas Cochran and  Association  larger  other  One  at  this  American  A r c h i v i s t s e s t a b l i s h e d a Committee on I n s t i t u t i o n a l and Archives  to  the Long  to " e f f e c t a  director Island. liason  New of The with  professional associations  such  organization  was  the  30  A.H.A.  Committee  on B u s i n e s s R e c o r d s .  committee i n c l u d e d Cochran, Lewis  Atherton  (Colorado  W.D.  Overman,  of  Kentucky),  (University  State  A l s o f o r m e d i n 1946, t h e  Museum),  Richard  Oliver  W.  Holmes,  Herbert  Overton  0.  Brayer  (Northwestern  U n i v e r s i t y ) and C o l e . The special  initial  i d e a o f f o r m i n g a s i n g l e c o u n c i l grew o u t o f a  s e s s i o n o f t h e A.H.A. i n 1946. D e v o t e d e x c l u s i v e l y  discussion  of  was a t t e n d e d Records,  the by  of  A.H.A.'s  Committee  on  Committee  Institutional  A r c h i v e s , t h e Economic H i s t o r y A s s o c i a t i o n ' s Collection  and  a  management o f b u s i n e s s r e c o r d s , t h e s e s s i o n  members  S.A.A.'s  to  Preservation  of  on  Business  and  Business  Committee  Business Records,  on  the  the Special  L i b r a r i e s A s s o c i a t i o n , t h e A m e r i c a n L i b r a r y A s s o c i a t i o n a n d many other r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of l e a d i n g During  businesses  and  institutions.  t h i s s e s s i o n t h e Economic H i s t o r y A s s o c i a t i o n forwarded  motion  to  " e s t a b l i s h a s e c r e t a r i a t , probably  i n New Y o r k  City,  t o s e r v e a s a c l e a r i n g h o u s e f o r d a t a on r e c o r d s management the  history  proposed  of  American  business^"  5 5  Emmett  that the goals of the s e c r e t a r i a t  Leahy  s h o u l d be  a  and  further  four-fold:  (1) S p o n s o r a d v a n c e d p r o g r a m s i n r e c o r d s management; ~ (2) encourage t h e f u l l e s t p o s s i b l e a c c e s s i b i l i t y of b u s i n e s s and i n s t i t u t i o n a l a r c h i v e s t o s c h o l a r s ; (3) encourage the p r o f e s s i o n a l r e c o r d i n g of the h i s t o r y of business and institutions; (4) sponsor and, i f n e c e s s a r y , manage r e c o r d s c e n t r e s i n A m e r i c a n cities for the storage and p r o c e s s i n g of b u s i n e s s and institutional records. 5 6  Those i n a t t e n d a c e become fees  self-supporting collected  studies,  and  generally felt within  for  records  storage  and  that  the  project  would  three t o f i v e y e a r s through the management  processing  services, of  historical  m a t e r i a l i n records  31  c e n t r e s . A temporary a  proposal  which  c o m m i t t e e was q u i c k l y e s t a b l i s h e d t o then  A.H.A. a n d r e c e i v e d Review  this  s i g n i f i c a n c e " designed concerns  on  the  archives w i l l  went t o t h e E x e c u t i v e C o m m i t t e e o f t h e  i t s endorsement.  applauded  effort  as  The a  American  "plan  of  t o c r e a t e an a g e n c y " t o  management  of t h e i r  Historical  far-reaching  advise  business  r e c o r d s so t h a t  s e r v e both b u s i n e s s and h i s t o r y . "  business  5 7  C o c h r a n a n d C o l e f o r m e d an i n f o r m a l c o m m i t t e e w h i c h the  initial  financial  Rockefeller  of Cole  arranging Council.  the  5 8  support  Foundation  involvement  experience  in  for  1948.  the  the  single-most  funding  for  the  recorded  sought  programme  Cochran  as  The C o u n c i l  draft  ensure  from  factor  Records that  the  c r e d i t e d the  important  National  to  later  secured  in  Management  the  "valuable  i n t h e e s s e n t i a l c o r e o f modern r e c o r d s i s  p r e s e r v e d , t h e r e c o r d s p r e s e r v e d a r e i n an a c c e s s i b l e a n d u s a b l e form, and t h e interpreted." In Capsule:  the  experience  evaluated  and  1950s, t h e C o u n c i l p u b l i s h e d " O p e r a t i o n  Time  5 9  early  to  p r e s s i n g problem preserving  companies  eliminate records."  the 6 0  to  deal  of  Business"  effectively  records while  at  which  with the the  same  t h e c o r p o r a t e memory. I n d e s c r i b i n g t h e n a t u r e 1956,  R.A.  Shiff  stressed  "needle-in-the-haystack  The programme t r a n s c e n d e d  historically  Shiff  character  of  need  to  modern extract  t h e p r o f u s i o n of u s e l e s s  sought t o p r o v i d e  process.  the  t h e b a s i c need t o  v a l u a b l e r e c o r d s from  m a t e r i a l and a c t u a l l y documentation  how  o f volume i n t h e i r  o f t h e programme i n  the  organized,  A T e c h n i q u e t o P r e s e r v e t h e Memory  demonstrated  time  there .i s  described  some the  guidance  in  the  programme i n t h e  32  following  terms.  I t a t t e m p t s t o f i l l i n the gaps of the records now produced. Further i t attempts to fill that very g l a r i n g gap i n modern b u s i n e s s r e c o r d s - t h e why and the w h e r e f o r e . Our r e c o r d s t e l l us what was d o n e , b u t t h e y r a r e l y t e l l us why o r how. O b v i o u s l y , t h e how and t h e why a r e t h e r e a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t o f the story for guiding future policy and somehow we must g e t these c a t e g o r i e s of i n f o r m a t i o n i n t o the r e c o r d . Time Capsule r e l i e s t o a g r e a t e x t e n t on t h e d o c u m e n t a t i o n a l r e a d y i n e x i s t e n c e , but i t a l s o f a v o u r s the c r e a t i o n o f new r e c o r d s where o b v i o u s g a p s e x i s t . 6 1  The  C o u n c i l s u c c e e d e d so w e l l  o f r e c o r d s management t h a t by was  revoked  as  it  the  i n the s e l l i n g 1950s  its  of the  concept  tax-exempt  status  became r e c o g n i z e d a s s o m e t h i n g more t h a n  n o n - p r o f i t , academic-based o r g a n i z a t i o n seeking preservation purposes.  of  business  records  I t s p r o v i s i o n of r e c o r d s popular  s a v e money by  r e d u c i n g the volume of  change  i n o r i e n t a t i o n was  t h e B o a r d who reorganized interest  into a  in  6 3  programmes l o s t spearheaded occurred interests  interest  of the o l d  the  the  organized for  f o r a number o f r e a s o n s combined  f o r the lobby over  of  returns.  how.  to  This  of the C o u n c i l  a  life  f o u n d a t i o n of historians  twenty-five  i n c l u d i n g changes  The  records of  its  archival who  years. in  was  6 2  Noremco.  had This  research  w i t h y e a r s of discouragement c u l m i n a t i n g i n  b u s i n e s s ' s e m b r a c e of r e c o r d s management w h i c h y i e l d e d financial  became  t o t h e s c h o l a r s on  called  assumed  the  research  retained.  r e c o r d s waned a s t h e  Council  impetus  efforts  staff  company  preserving historical  the  for  services  materials  of l i t t l e  commercial  Hereafter,  ensure  b u s i n e s s m e n by d e m o n s t r a t i n g  r e s i g n e d . E v e n t u a l l y , the  management a s p e c t own.  with  primarily  management  increasingly  to  a  This  shift  i n emphasis tended  tangible  to result  t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f most of t h e m a t e r i a l n o t e x p l i c i t l y  in  required  33  to  be  retained  by  law,  p r e s e r v a t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l The  1950s  corporate New  with  little  consideration  documentation.  witnessed  a  slight  renewal  Insurance,  America and  Coca  Cola  However,  1958  survey  a  E l i Lilly,  a l l established revealed  archival  that  fewer 6  "business  prevailing  particularly  which  archives  were  a low p r o f i l e .  business  archives  12 l a r g e  In the  following  the  The  that,  blamed  1960s when produced  i ti s little  decade  so  anti-  wonder  1966,  depressed  the  Archives  of  Committee  as a that  sought t o  interest  Society  on  unrest,  an  created as c o r p o r a t i o n s  in  four  in  American  which  had  s i n c e 1938.  According  t o a r c h i v i s t David  " D i r e c t o r y of Business  Archives"  Archivists  "signalled  corporate 700  than  tended t o view b i g business  A r c h i v i s t s disbanded i t s Business existed  of  Under s u c h c i r c u m s t a n c e s ,  business  programmes.  P e r h a p s t h i s may be  atmosphere  attitude  evil.  maintain  social  6 5  amongst t h e y o u n g e r g e n e r a t i o n ,  establishment  few  in  a r c h i v e s went i n t o t h e d o l d r u m s " a s o n l y  new r e p o s i t o r i e s were c r e a t e d .  social  interest  P r o c t o r a n d G a m b l e , Bank o f  companies had h i r e d p r o f e s s i o n a l a r c h i v i s t s . *  the  of  a r c h i v e s a s T e x a c o , F o r d M o t o r Company, S e a r s R o e b u c k ,  York L i f e  decade  f o r the  in  1969,  archives."  businesses  6 6  Smith, the p u b l i c a t i o n of the by  the  the  Society  birth  of  of a  American new e r a i n  Of t h e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s d i s t r i b u t e d  throughout the United S t a t e s ,  113  t o some  reported  some  f o r m o f a r c h i v a l p r e s e r v a t i o n , "even i f i t c o n s i s t e d o f o n l y one file  drawer  the b o a r d . " historical  in  6 7  the o f f i c e  of t h e s e c r e t a r y t o t h e chairman of  Smith a t t r i b u t e d the  records  to  a  variety  resurgence  of  interest  in  of f a c t o r s which i n c l u d e d a  34  growing  nostalgia craze, large  graduates  who  archives,  the  general  increasing  of  unemployed  history  were able to convince businessmen of the need f o r approaching  interest  corporations  numbers  in  bicentennial  which  renewed  h i s t o r y , upcoming a n n i v e r s a r i e s f o r which  planned number  U.S.  to  of  publish  their  l a w s u i t s brought  r e q u i r e d easy access to h i s t o r i c a l  histories,  and  a g a i n s t companies which  documentation.  68  In her e x p l a n a t i o n of t h i s renewed i n t e r e s t , Linda has suggested an expanding of  the  Edgerly  awareness s i n c e the 1960s of the  role  business i n contemporary s o c i e t y has prompted North American  business to r e t a i n documentation  beyond that  strictly  required  by law. E d g e r l y added: Records that c o u l d be used to r e c o n s t r u c t the process and circumstances of d e c i s i o n making and the mutually dependent r e l a t i o n s h i p of business and s o c i e t y assumed new importance. Records management and v i t a l records programes, many of which were formed d u r i n g the 1940s and 1950s, c o u l d not s a t i s f y t h i s new r e q u i r e m e n t . 69  I n c r e a s i n g l y , a r c h i v a l programmes became recognized as p o t e n t i a l sources of c o r p o r a t e i n f o r m a t i o n . The  1970s witnesses a f l o o d of new  i n c l u d e d Walt Disney, I n t e r n a t i o n a l Corning Co.,  Glass  Gerber  Harvester,  Products, Los Angeles Times, and A t l a n t i c  while  Although s t i l l  the  decade ranks  the of  number business  of  the  1970s,  the  SAA  danger 1960s.  of 70  r e i n s t a t e d the Business A r c h i v e s  soon superseded  The S o c i e t y sponsored  i n the  archives  quadrupled.  a r a r e breed, they were "no longer i n  Committee, which was group.  Richfield.  corporate  archivists  e x t i n c t i o n which had been a r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y " In  Anheuser-Busch,  Works, Weyerhaeuser, Wells Fargo Bank, Deere and  During t h i s s i n g l e doubled  a r c h i v a l programs which  by a p r o f e s s i o n a l  affinity  numerous workshops on e s t a b l i s h i n g  35  corporate  a r c h i v e s and  Hedlin's  Business  also published a useful  A r c h i v e s : An  followed by Karen B e n e d i c t s ' s A r c h i v e s and of  a r c h i v e s l i s t e d over 200  a r c h i v i s t s . In surveying David  Smith  complacent continue  as  the course  cautioned a  (1978).  that  1980,  even  archivists  within  1960s and within  operating  their  major  began to appear advanced  1950s  i n t h i s country.  e a r l y 1970s that c o r p o r a t e  the  for  s m a l l e r and  financial  60  must and  Business  corporate  own  become  institutions 71  no  largely  i n s t i t u t i o n s and  a few  located  might  subsidiaries  and  of the huge c o r p o r a t i o n s  in  than  within  i s that business  the  was  p r e s e r v a t i o n of business  not  the  same  h i s t o r y d i d not  c o n s t i t u t i o n a l matters.  and,  e a r l y impetus f o r the  records.  As with the American experience, century  are  branch  the same p o p u l a r i t y i n Canada as i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s there  the  o f t e n a r c h i v a l programmes have been  o p e r a t i o n s . Another e x p l a n a t i o n  late nineteenth  be  the r e t a r d e d development. Companies i n Canada are  lack the resources  consequently,  late  utilities,  (see Appendix I ) . A number of reasons  e s t a b l i s h e d i n the head o f f i c e r a t h e r  enjoy  of  archival  not u n t i l the  archives,  to  the success  witnessed I t was  not  United S t a t e s . Many of the l a r g e s t companies i n t h i s country American  was  that they must  a r c h i v e s i n Canada have not shared  t h e i r American c o u n t e r p a r t s . The programmes  This  of h i s t o r i c a l development to  ensure the p r e s e r v a t i o n of t h e i r a r c h i v a l p r o g r a m s . Business  Edie  SAA's d i r e c t o r y  a r c h i v e s and  r e s u l t of recent successes  to s t r u g g l e  in  A S e l e c t B i b l i o g r a p h y on  Records Management (1981). By  business  1981  Introduction  manual  focused  Canadian h i s t o r i a n s of  the  t h e i r a t t e n t i o n on p o l i t i c a l  and  There was  very  little  scholarly interest  36  i n t h e r e c o r d s of b u s i n e s s u n t i l  well  i n t o the c u r r e n t  century.  Even when C a n a d i a n h i s t o r i a n s t u r n e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n t o e c o n o m i c considerations c e n t r e on  beginning  the study of  in  the  individual  1920s,  a  H a r o l d A.  "staple"  explain  broad  conceptual thesis.  C a n a d a ' s u n i q u e d e v e l o p m e n t by  s u c c e s s i o n of s t a p l e e x p o r t s , i n c l u d i n g upon  an  evolving  c o n s t r u c t , which decades,  tended  s t u d i e d the country.  and  Canadian  to r e d i r e c t  interest  of  businesses  on  furs,  the  f i s h and  restricting  to  of  thematic for  deveopment  many have  of  specializing  School  of  the necessary  a  minerals  which might otherwise  a d d i t i o n , no a c a d e m i c i n s t i t u t i o n s  i n Canada, thus  impact  historiography  the  by  I n n i s attempted  s t u d y i n g the  business h i s t o r y , comparable to the Harvard appeared  not  framework  i t s i n s t i t u t i o n s . This  dominated  impact  In  nation  interest did  f i r m s or i n d u s t r i e s . Rather i t  i n v o l v e d the development of I n n i s known as t h e  the  the in  Business,  training  for  history  in  field. The  Canada  first  book d e v o t e d  t o a study of  d i d not appear u n t i l . 1 9 7 2 . In h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n , D a v i d  Macmillan  l a m e n t e d t h a t Canada had  interest  i n the  years  business  in  the  field United  w h i c h had States,  not  shared  grown o v e r Germany,  S.  i n the  developing  the l a s t  twenty-five  France,  Britain  and  Australia. I t i s s u p r i s i n g t h a t C a n a d a , a c o u n t r y w h i c h owes more than most t o p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e and i n i t i a t i v e , t h e r e s h o u l d h a v e been a c o m p a r a t i v e n e g l e c t o f b u s i n e s s and e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l h i s t o r y . . . . T h e s t u d y , i f not in i t s infancy here, i s s t i l l a t t h e s t a g e where i t i s n o t y e t a c c e p t e d as p a r t o f t h e f o r m a l r a n g e o f f i e l d s f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t h e U n i v e r s i t i e s and s c h o o l s . . . . 7 2  More t h a n a d e c a d e l a t e r , but  little  has  a s e c o n d book on t h e s u b j e c t  changed as b u s i n e s s  h i s t o r y has  appeared  n o t y e t become an  37  a recognized or  field  conferences  Traves has  of study  i n Canada and t h e r e a r e n o t j o u r n a l s  dedicated  to  i t s systematic  study.  7 3  As Tom  observed,  A decade ago, t h e f i r s t and l a s t o f two C a n a d i a n collections of essays e x p l i c i t l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the f i e l d were p u b l i s h e d , b u t t h e i r i m p a c t was marginal. Yet, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , over the last t e n years our knowledge of t h e Canadian business system has increased immensely. " 7  Although  business  t h e r e was an an records  In  attempt  quite  Historical  history  h a s been s l o w  in  reminiscent  the of  established  history."  the  to  efforts  i n Canada,  preserve of  business  the  Business  S o c i e t y i n t h e 1920s a n d 1 9 3 0 s .  May, 1968, t h e B u s i n e s s  business  1960s  t o develop  "to  encourage  records 7 5  and  The  to  Council  A r c h i v e s C o u n c i l of the  preservation  promote was  the  directed  s e v e n t e e n members drawn l a r g e l y  from  study  Canada  of  was  historical  of  business  by a n a t i o n a l b o a r d o f  the  academic  community.  D e s i g n e d a s a forum f o r p r o m o t i n g d i s c u s s i o n between businessmen and  historians,  of b u s i n e s s  t h e C o u n c i l sought t o c o o r d i n a t e t h e c o l l e c t i o n  records  establishment  of  1970s, J o h n A r c h e r  i n designated in-house  r e g i o n a l r e p o s i t o r i e s and  archival  programmes.  the  In the e a r l y  e x p l a i n e d t h e aims of t h e C o u n c i l .  The B u s i n e s s A r c h i v e s C o u n c i l of Canada, as i t i s presently constructed, seeks t o apply the American concept of s p e c i a l i z e d repositories for business records. To t h i s American concept t h e C o u n c i l would apply the B r i t i s h device of a v o l u n t a r y , selfsupporting o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h a head o f f i c e , t o a c t as a c o - o r d i n a t i n g a g e n c y . The h e a d o f f i c e w o u l d c a r r y on c o r r e s p o n d e n c e and n e g o t i a t i o n s a t a n a t i o n a l level; t h e r e g i o n a l d e p o s i t o r i e s w o u l d c a r r y on t h e p r a c t i c a l work o f d e p o s i t , p r o c e s s i n g a n d u s e . 7 6  The  primary  business  goal  of  the  Council  i n v o l v e d the c o l l e c t i o n of  r e c o r d s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h e movement " f a i l e d t o  expand  38  its  membership  or  to  attract  ceased operations in 1 9 7 3 .  77  from the same problems which Society  earlier  history  sponsorship"" and  The e f f o r t s of the Council suffered plagued  the  Business  Historical  in the century. Businessmen were not convinced  of the wisdom of preserving write  significant  because  corporate  they  saw  records  few  from  tangible  which  to  benefits  for  themselves. In a d d i t i o n , there was not widespread r e c o g n i t i o n of the merits of studying business h i s t o r y even amongst These  academics.  f a c t o r s might help to explain the rather slow development  of business archives in Canada during t h i s p e r i o d .  *  *  *  *  *  This century began with l i t t l e i n t e r e s t in the business  and  economic  of  h i s t o r y in North America. The t o p i c was  f i r s t addressed by s o c i a l against  writing  reformers  with  an  underlying  bias  changes in the economy at the expense of s o c i a l reform.  These muckrakers portrayed business in negative terms  and  made  companies very apprehensive about opening records to researchers for  fear that the corporate image might be i r r e p a r a b l y damaged.  During t h i s e a r l y period a w a l l  of  distrust  grew  up  between  businessmen and researchers. In  the  1920s,  a  more o b j e c t i v e approach to the study of  business h i s t o r y based at Harvard U n i v e r s i t y its  early  practioners  also  participated  H i s t o r i c a l Society which provided  the  major  collection  the  1940s..  of  manuscripts  into  problems inherent in the c o l l e c t i o n  of  emerged. in  the  impetus  Many  of  Business for  the  By that time the  manuscripts,  primarily  39  their  bulk,  had become a l l too e v i d e n t . As a r e s u l t , t h i s  idea  of  c o l l e c t i n g m a t e r i a l i n e x i s t i n g r e s p o s i t o r i e s slowly gave  to  the c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v e s movement. T h i s i d e a , f i r s t enunciated  suggested  that  businesses  archives.  This  movement,  be  by O l i v e r W. convinced  which  like  spearheaded by h i s t o r i a n s , experienced through  the  Clough-Cochran  drift  in  the  apart  formation  to maintain  its  some success  scholarly  own was  particularly York C i t y . began  to  1940s as economic and b u s i n e s s h i s t o r i a n s began to both  of  for  their  community  intellectually  the  National  and  methodologically.  their  The  Records Management C o u n c i l was  both demonstrate the u s e f u l n e s s of business  means  1938,  predecessor  f i n a l organized attempt f o r s c h o l a r s t o p a r t i c i p a t e to  in  experiment based i n New  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the input of the wane  Holmes  way  the  in a p r o j e c t  records  and  the  systematic c o n t r o l . T h i s represented a unique  experiment i n combining the resources f o r h i s t o r i c a l s c h o l a r s h i p as w e l l as  the  practical  application  of  records  management  principles. The  emergence  disappearance the  of  of  historical  h i s t o r i e s . This l e f t  benefits  whose growing  disappearance  in  the  1950s  witnessed  of the s c h o l a r l y component which had  retention  management  Noremco  the more  records marketable  from  lobbied  which  services  to of  apparent  advantages outweighed the  out  historical  of  studies.  write  potential  After  of  for  records  of the organized academic i n p u t , there was  c o - o r d i n a t e d e f f o r t to encourage the establishment  the  the little  business  a r c h i v e s . T h i s , then, has been the i n t e l l e c t u a l backdrop a g a i n s t which the development of business a r c h i v e s has emerged.  40  This to  attempt  for  experience to convince  demonstrated t h a t i t i s not  businesses  the purpose of h i s t o r i c a l  encouragement be  has  left  t o b u s i n e s s m e n and  to establish archives  study.  f o r the f o r m a t i o n  I t a l s o suggests  corporate  to  into  executives  p r o g r a m m e s . The case  go  h i s t o r i a n s but  of  the the  should  of the  that  instead f a l l  become i n c u m b e n t on  business  community  potential  values  b a s i s upon w h i c h t h e a r c h i v i s t may  forms the n u c l e u s  strictly  of b u s i n e s s a r c h i v e s s h o u l d  the a r c h i v a l community. Indeed, i t w i l l archivist  sufficient  following  chapter.  to of  the not to the  convince archival  argue h i s / h e r  41  NOTES 1  "The A r c h i v i s t ' s Role i n Records Management," 19 ( 1956), p. .114.  2  Scene," i n (Toronto:  R.A. S h i f f , American A r c h i v i s t  J o h n H. Archer, "Business Records: The Canadian Canadian Business H i s t o r y , ed. D.S. Macmillan M c C l e l l a n d and Stewart, 1972), p. 285. 3  Allan Nevins, "Business and the H i s t o r i a n s , " i n A l l a n Nevins on H i s t o r y , ed. Ray A l l e n B i l l i n g t o n (New York: Charles S c h r i b n e r ' s Sons Ltd.,. 1975), p. 73. "0. Lawrence Burnette, Beneath the Footnote S t a t e H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , 1969), p. 104. 5  Nevins,  6  B u r n e t t e , Beneath the Footnote, p. 104.  (Wisconsin:  "Business and the H i s t o r i a n s , " p. 74.  'Gerald T. White, "The Business H i s t o r i a n and H i s Sources," American A r c h i v i s t 30 (1967), p. 20. 8  R a l p h M. Hower, "The P r e s e r v a t i o n of Business Records," B u l l e t i n of the Business H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y 11 (1937), p. 38. 9  N e v i n s , p. 75.  1  °The image of business as perpetuated by the muckrakers was extremely slow to d i s s i p a t e . In a d d r e s s i n g the i s s u e i n 1943, Stanley Pargellis suggested that the u n f l a t t e r i n g c o n c e p t i o n of business c o n t i n u e d t o be shaped by a small group of negative historical commentators. T h i s had important i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the p u b l i c p e r c e p t i o n of b u s i n e s s . Pargellis c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h i s p e r c e p t i o n as f o l l o w s : Business today, as f o r the l a s t 75 years, i s guided by but one motive, which i s not, save i n d i r e c t l y , the p u b l i c welfare; business e x e r c i s e s now, as i t d i d then, a d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e and s i n i s t e r i n f l u e n c e on c o u r t s and government officials; business is still wasteful, immoral, c o r r u p t and v i c i o u s and scheming, and the common man needs p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t i t s ways or i t w i l l stand, as i t has always stood i n the path of the p l a i n people. Stanley Pargellis, "The Judgment of H i s t o r y on American Business," Newcomen Addresses (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1943), p. 15. 1 1  A r n o l d Wells, "Samuel S l a t e r : Father of Our Factory System," i n Edward C. Bursh, Donald T. C l a r k and Ralph W. Hidy (eds), The World of Business (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1962), p. 1086. 12  "Our  Primary  Purpose,"  B u l l e t i n of the Business  42 H i s t o r i c a l Society 1 (1926), p. 1. B u r n e t t e , p. 124.  13  "Francis X. B l o u i n , "An Agenda For the A p p r a i s a l of Business Records," in A r c h i v a l Choices: Managing the H i s t o r i c a l Record in an Age of Abundance, ed. Nancy E~i Peace (Lexington: D.C. Heath and C o . , 1984), p. 62. 1  N . S . B . Gras, "Are You W r i t i n g a Business H i s t o r y ? , " B u l l e t i n of the Business H i s t o r i c a l Society 28 (1944), p. 3. 1 5  0 1 i v e r W. Holmes, "Some R e f l e c t i o n s on Business Archives i n - t h e United S t a t e s , " American A r c h i v i s t 17 (1954), p. 300. 16  1 7  Ibid.  Hower, "The Preservation of Business Records," p. 37.  18  1 9  Ibid.,  p. 39.  2 0  Ibid.,  p. 43.  2 1  Ibid.  2 2  B l o u i n , "Appraisal of Business Records," p. 63.  2 3  Ibid.  "Holmes, "The A r c h i v e s , " p. 183. 2  25  Evaluation  and  Preservation  of Business  "News Notes," American A r c h i v i s t 2 (1939), p. 57.  J u l i a N. Eulenberg, "The Corporate A r c h i v e s , " in Taking Control of Your O f f i c e Records: A Manager's Guide, ed. Katherine Aschner (New York: Knowledge Industry P u b l i c a t i o n s , 1983), p. 184. 2 6  W i l l i a m Overman, "The Firestone American A r c h i v i s t 16 (1953), p. 307. 2 7  Archives  and  Library,"  A r t h u r H. Cole, The Accumulated Development of Unsolved Problems," Journal of Economic H i s t o r y 5 (1945), p. 46. 28  2 9  B l o u i n , p. 63.  C a r l H. McKenzie, "An Experiment in the Retention and Preservation of Corporate Records," B u l l e t i n of the Business H i s t o r i c a l Society 27 (1943), p. 4. 3 0  3  'Ibid.  " B u s i n e s s Manuscripts: A Pressing Economic H i s t o r y 5 (1945), p. 43. 32  Problem,"  Journal of  43  3 3  3  Cole,  "Ibid., Ibid.,  3 5  "Unsolved Problems," p. 44. p. 47. pp. 4 8 - 9 .  Thomas C. Cochran, "New York C i t y Business Records: A Plan For Their Preservation," B u l l e t i n of the Business H i s t o r i c a l Society 18 (1944), p. 59. 36  3 7  Ibid.  3 8  Ibid.,  p. 60.  H e r b e r t 0 . Brayer, "I've Been Working On the R a i l r o a d , " American A r c h i v i s t 7 (1944), pp. 117-18. 39  Thomas C. Cochran, "New York Committee On Records," Journal of Economic History 5 (1945), p. 60. a0  " Ibid., 1  Business  p. 63.  Thomas C. Cochran, "Plans For Internship In Business A r c h i v a l Work," B u l l e t i n of the Business H i s t o r i c a l Society 20 (1946), p. 95. a2  < 3  lbid.  ""Ibid.,  pp. 9 5 - 6 .  " Ibid.,  p. 96.  5  * C o l e , "Unsolved Problems," p. 55. 6  * Ibid. 7  flB  Blouin,  a 9  Ibid.  5 0  Ibid.  5 1  Ibid.  p. 66.  D a v i d R. Smith, "A H i s t o r i c a l Look At Business A r c h i v e s , " American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982). p. 275. 52  E.J. Leahy, "Report of the Committee on I n s t i t u t i o n Business A r c h i v e s , " American A r c h i v i s t 11 (1948), p. 62. 5 3  5 < t  Ibid.  5 5  Ibid.,  5 6  Ibid.  p. 63.  and  44 " H i s t o r i c a l News," American H i s t o r i c a l Review 53 p. 680. 5 7  Thomas C. Cochran, "Arthur Harrison C o l e : Business History Review 49 (1975), p. 2. 58  (1947),  1889-1974,"  " N a t i o n a l Records Management C o u n c i l , " American A r c h i v i s t 9 (1948), p. 382. 5 9  6 0  Shiff,  6 1  Ibid.  "The A r c h i v i s t ' s Role in Records  Management,"  p.  119.  C o c h r a n , "Arthur C o l e , " p. 2. Richmond D. W i l l i a m s , "Business Archives in the United S t a t e s , " in Papers of the Twenty-Fifth Meeting of the Business History Conference, ed. Paul Uselding (Urbana: U n i v e r s i t y of I l l i n o i s , 1979), p. 42. 62 63  "David R. Smith, " H i s t o r i c a l Look At p. 275. 6  6 5  Ibid.  6 6  Ibid.  R o b e r t W. L o v e t t , "The Status American A r c h i v i s t 32 (1969), p. 248. 67  68  Business  Archives,"  of Business A r c h i v e s , "  S m i t h , p. 275.  L i n d a Edgerly, "Business Archives A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 269.  Guidelines,"  American  D a v i d S. Macmillan, Canadian Business H i s t o r y McClelland and Stewart, 1972), pp. 1 - 2 .  (Toronto:  6 9  70  7  S m i t h , p. 275.  'Ibid.,  pp. 276-77.  72  D u r i n g the summer of 1984, the f i r s t Canadian Business H i s t o r y Conference was held at Trent U n i v e r s i t y . It remains to be seen i f t h i s w i l l become an annual event. 73  "Tom Traves, Essays in Canadian Business H i s t o r y McClelland and Stewart, 1984), p. 5. 7  Susan R i l e y , " A r c h i v i s t s Escalate the Records Management Quarterly 3 (1969), p. 29. 75  War  on  (Toronto; Paper,"  J o h n H. Archer, "Business Records: The Canadian Scene," in Canadian Business H i s t o r y , ed. David S. Macmillan (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972), p. 297. 76  45  77  Peter  (1975/76),  p.  E.  94.  R i d e r , "Business Archives Notes," A r c h i v a r i a 1  46  CHAPTER  III  JUSTIFYING CORPORATE ARCHIVES  In h i s 1982 a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d , "Dusting George  Smith  succinctly  expresses  Off  the  the  Cobwebs",  greatest  challenge  confronting the modern a r c h i v i s t when he began by "business  archives are a hard s e l l . "  1  regarded  as  the  t r a d i t i o n a l concept of the a r c h i v i s t "operating s o l e l y  in the dark and structure,  that  In analysing the cause of  t h i s s i t u a t i o n , F . L . Sward i d e n t i f i e d what he outdated  stating  dusty  sorting  environs  through  of  some  remote,  museum-like  old pieces of paper at a l e i s u r e l y  pace and l i t t l e concerned about the p r e s e n t . "  2  This tendency  to  stereotype the a c t i v i t i e s of the a r c h i v i s t r a i s e s some important questions  about  the  value  of  archival  programmes  within a  corporate s e t t i n g and requires the r e t h i n k i n g of the p o s i t i o n of the a r c h i v i s t and the s e r v i c e s which  he  briefly  applications  considers  the  potential  offers.  This  chapter  of  archival  p r a c t i c e to current business o p e r a t i o n s . As has been suggested e a r l i e r , the records of business have been an invaluable However,  one  must  source  for  question  economic  and  social  history.  whether t h i s i s an adequate basis  upon which to convince business managers to spend the time  and  requisite  money to preserve the c u l t u r a l heritage buried in the  corporate records. Experience has i n d i c a t e d that the  answer  t h i s question i s almost always 'no' as Smith i n d i c a t e s . It i s not enough to make claims for the value of h i s t o r y , or for the enduring value to society of w e l l preserved business records. It i s a m a t t e r , . r e a l l y , of  to  47 formulating historical problems and h i s t o r i c a l products and services that current concerns of business management.  developing bear on the  3  Consequently, the a r c h i v i s t with corporate  world  designs  on  moving  into  must think beyond the t r a d i t i o n a l a p p l i c a t i o n s  of h i s trade and consider those p a r t i c u l a r services which appeal  to  the  business.  To  do  so  the  archivist  a t t e n t i o n to the task of making the operation  of  might  must turn h i s his  archives  relevant to the needs of business today. This  idea  may  be  difficult  to implement given that the  " t y p i c a l f i r m i s a h i s t o r i c a l in temperament, possessed as i t with  a  marginal  for the f u t u r e . " business  4  focus on contemporary problems and s t r a t e g i e s This i s , in f a c t , the  archivists  as  their  greatest  success  providing u t i l i t a r i a n value to an inhouse with  is  is  obstacle  "contingent  clientele  for upon  unfamiliar  the notion of using the past to make current d e c i s i o n s and  plans for the f u t u r e . " overcome  5  To succeed in business  must  the outmoded notion that a r c h i v a l programmes should be  l i m i t e d to h i s t o r i c a l functions and develop  archivists  a  they  should  endeavour  to  broader perspective in the s e r v i c e of the sponsoring  agency. In s t r e s s i n g the need for such a change, R.  W.  Ferrier  argues that the a r c h i v i s t ...assumes a much c l o s e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h , and i n c i d e n t a l l y , a more responsible p o s i t i o n i n , the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e h i e r a r c h y , and a greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the a c t i v i t i e s of h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n than has p r e v i o u s l y been accepted. A r c h i v i s t s have previously played a rather passive part in the a f f a i r s of f i r m s . This i s no longer d e s i r a b l e or f e a s i b l e ; they have a d e f i n i t e c o n t r i b u t i o n to make and they must be given the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and opportunity to make that p o s s i b l e and e f f e c t i v e . ' 6  This requires that the a r c h i v i s t  look  beyond  the  traditional  r o l e which cast him as a passive c o l l e c t o r of o l d documents from  48  which  to  write  h i s t o r y and  w h i c h h i s s e r v i c e s m i g h t be the  t h a t he  begin to formulate  applied to various  operations  o r g a n i z a t i o n . I n a s s u m i n g a more a c t i v e r o l e ,  useful  f o r the  business a r c h i v i s t  to think  ways i n  it  within  might  i n t e r m s of  be  marketing  strategies. Historically,  the  t e r m m a r k e t i n g has  b u s i n e s s f i r m s engaged i n " h a r d s e l l " t o buy  t h e i r products.  i n f l u e n c i n g and  the  c o n c e p t of  This  r e o r i e n t a t i o n , consumer- r a t h e r rise  s e n s i t i v e l y s e r v i n g and  to  a  broader  traditonal applications extended to n o n - p r o f i t to  a  to  practical It  briefly  not  establishment  of  representatives  The  the  his  c o n v i n c e the this,  the  various archivist  the  i s not  has  beyond  its  Increasingly  c o n c e p t has  b u s i n e s s a r c h i v i s t m i g h t be  well  some  of  an  these  marketing  programme  publicize  the  wait  for  and  departments to a v a i l  likely  to  to i d e n t i f y  occur.  d e p a r t m e n t s of  his  fully  Instead,  put  plans.  appreciate  identify  themeselves it  those p o t e n t i a l uses  m i g h t be  the  a  i s employed.  archivist  of h i s a r c h i v e s  must  7  rise  that  various  weaknesses of h i s c o l l e c t i o n , markets  to  given  corporate  of the  resources  persuading,  world.  company i n w h i c h he  i n c u m b e n t upon t h e a r c h i v i s t which  a  o u t l i n e d below, i n h i s quest to p r o v i d e  sufficient  of h i s s e r v i c e s . T h i s  been  marketing  business  implementing  s e r v i c e to the is  8  people  s a t i f y i n g human n e e d s . "  of  organizations,  consider  s t r a t e g i e s , as  the  has  with  than product-centered,  notion  in  sizable literature.  advised  t a c t i c s to convince  More r e c e n t l y , h o w e v e r , t h e r e  g r o w i n g s h i f t away f r o m " s e l l i n g ,  given  been a s s o c i a t e d  the  is to  and  procede  To  accomplish  strengths  numerous  to  and  potential  w i t h i n t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n , have a c l e a r c o n c e p t i o n  of  the  49  f u n c t i o n s of the package  and  various alter  departments  his  product  r e q u i r e m e n t s of the p o t e n t i a l consider  t h a t the p r i c i n g  users.  and, to  finally,  meet  The  he  the  particular  archivist  of h i s p r o d u c t  i s an  must  important  i n t h i s u n d e r t a k i n g . P r i c i n g does not r e f e r t o c o s t s monetary terms required Stephan in  but  i n s t e a d may  A  final  archives  and  needs and  about  by c o r p o r a t e  systems,  the  his  responsive  An  key  Therefore,  in  reorganizations.  archivist  would  approaching the  In  business  the corporate  need  to  maintain  t o respond  establishing  Failure  to  t o an e v e r - c h a n g i n g e n v i r o n m e n t archival  brought feedback  might  and  sufficiently prove  i n t h e s u c c e s s of a c o r p o r a t e  historically,  While  some  have  fatal  to  considered largely  keeping  an  accurate  a more a p p r o p r i a t e r e s p o n s e m i g h t  v a l u e of the a r c h i v e s i n terms  archival  t o measure t h e v a l u e of a  been  suggested  a  be  to  programme.  has,  be  added  be a b l e t o r e d i r e c t h i s f o c u s  accordingly.  which  would  the  w i t h the v a r i o u s departments  programme i n v o l v e s t h e a b i l i t y  This  and  of making i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e i n  element  important factor  inquiries,  "value  t o monitor changes i n those r e q u i r e m e n t s  product  inflexible  Curtis  time.  links  their  an  9  from a m a r k e t i n g s t a n d p o i n t i s  communication  adapt  itself."  i n terms  t h e minimum amount o f  that  time  i s c r e a t e d through access t o i n f o r m a t i o n  information  a r c h i v i s t must t h i n k  normal  be m e a s u r e d i n t h e l e n g t h o f  Abram, i n a n o t h e r c o n t e x t , s u g g e s t e d  more t h a n t h e  also factor  in  t o r e t r i e v e the necessary i n f o r m a t i o n . John  t h e i n f o r m a t i o n age  must  of i m p r o v i n g  measurement " o f how,  and  service  intangible. count  of  be t o c o n s i d e r t h e user  productivity.  t o what e x t e n t , t h e  50  a c t i o n s of others are made more productive more  successful."  1 0  or  the  collective  decisions  In t h i s manner, one need not argue for the  i n t r i n s i c value of a corporate archives but how  their  information  rather  demonstrate  may be u t i l i z e d for p r a c t i c a l  purposes. The corporate a r c h i v i s t should not r e s t r i c t himself to  the  c o l l e c t i o n of the company's h i s t o r i c a l records from which future histories  might  be  prepared. Instead, as e a r l i e r suggested by  George Smith, he must be w i l l i n g to assume an a c t i v e r o l e in the development of " h i s t o r i c a l products and s e r v i c e s the  current  concerns of business.management."  that 11  bear  on  Although i t  d i f f i c u l t to discuss a p p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s marketing  concept  is in  general terms, i t i s p o s s i b l e to consider some p o t e n t i a l uses of archival  resources.  Corporate  archival  programmes have enjoyed a wide v a r i e t y  of users. In d i s c u s s i n g the extent of t h i s u t i l i z a t i o n ,  Edgerly  observes that corporate archives . . . s e r v e s o p h i s t i c a t e d and v a r i e d p u b l i c s i n c l u d i n g chairmen, chief executive o f f i c e r s of companies, as well as a t t o r n e y s , economists, systems a n a l y s t s , production experts, s c i e n t i s t s and others interested in i n d u s t r i a l research, marketing and a d v e r t i s i n g s p e c i a l i s t s , stockholders, scholars and j o u r n a l i s t s . 1 2  This  list  constitute  is only  interesting one  in  demonstrating  may  historians  of many p u b l i c s to which the resources of  the business archives may be d i r e c t e d . archivist  that  participate  In  general  terms,  the  in p o l i c y formation, l e g a l matters,  a d v e r t i s i n g campaigns, p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s ,  employee  orientation,  h i s t o r i c a l s t u d i e s , and assorted sundry a c t i v i t i e s . By  exploiting  the information maintained in the corporate  a r c h i v e s , business executives can determine  how  problems  were  51  dealt  with  in  the  past thus enhancing the q u a l i t y of current  d e c i s i o n s . In t h i s task the a r c h i v i s t might be search  through  the  appropriate  called  upon  to  committee minutes or personal  correspondence of high-ranking o f f i c i a l s to determine  not  only  the past d e c i s i o n s but a l s o the background input which led up to those d e c i s i o n s . As George Smith assesses the the s i t u t a t i o n , ...what u l t i m a t e l y gives managers confidence in t h e i r d e c i s i o n s i s t h e i r accumulated knowledge of the way things work - t h e i r experience. Out of t h e i r own sense of the past managers n e c e s s a r i l y formulate v i s i o n s of the f u t u r e . 1 3  In a s i m i l a r f a s h i o n , H.L. White notes that while possible  to  pass  it  was  once  on the-necessary knowledge and experience by  word of mouth, i t i s no longer p o s s i b l e for the senior executive to do so because he "needs a c t u a l evidence of done,  what  problems  how  things  were faced and how they were overcome." " 1  The a r c h i v i s t stands in a p o s i t i o n to assume an a c t i v e the  formation  of  were  corporate  role  in  p o l i c y . In d i s c u s s i n g t h i s i s s u e ,  Jane Nokes of The Bank of Nova S c o t i a , argues  that  "archivists  can review p o l i c y over a long period of time, or study executive speeches  through  government  body,  changes...." The  the  years  or  to  help  interpret  make  a  case  personnel  or  before a marketing  1 5  corporate  archivist  may  a l s o be required to provide  documentation of patents, a r t i c l e s of i n c o r p o r a t i o n , records  of  mergers and other m a t e r i a l for the l e g a l department. David Smith has i n d i c a t e d that the Walt Disney Archives has been c a l l e d upon numerous  times  usage of  characters  either  to  knowingly  provide and or  evidence of the company's previous  trademarks unknowingly  which  other  violated.  1 6  individuals Other  major  52  corporate of  a r c h i v e s have a l s o s a v e d t h e i r c o m p a n i e s a g r e a t  money  by  involving  documentary  trademark l i t i g a t i o n .  corporate legal  providing  archives  cases  (for  can  play  example,  Edie an  Hedlin  important  class  i n v e s t i g a t i o n s ) brought a g a i n s t  evidence  action  in  deal  legal  observes  cases  that  the  role in substantial suits  or  combines  a company.  Huge sums a r e at stake, often i n t h e h u n d r e d s of m i l l i o n s and i t b e h o o v e s t h e corporation to provide itself with the best l e g a l s e r v i c e s a v a i l a b l e . But o b t a i n i n g t h e s e s e r v i c e s r e q u i r e s a huge expenditure, and e x p e n d i t u r e s c u t i n t o p r o f i t s . T h e r e f o r e , w h e n e v e r the archivist can locate- information that would o t h e r w i s e r e q u i r e r e s e a r c h by e x p e n s i v e l e g a l c o u n s e l , i t i s performing a service i n two ways. In-house research c u t s down on l e g a l c o s t s , and a r c h i v a l s t a f f members t e n d t o l o c a t e more i n f o r m a t i o n more q u i c k l y t h a n someone who i s u n f a m i l i a r w i t h company r e c o r d s . 1 7  In  legal  matters,  programme may analysis  based  a b s e n c e of The holdings  be  benefits . accruing  tangible on  and  the c o s t  of  advertising  searching  of  a  department  corporate  virtues  Motor A r c h i v e s  of  may  F o r d ' s V-8,  advertising campaign.  Pollay,  archival  cost/benefit in  professor  of  be v e r y Records previous number creative  classic  from  example i s a  letter  t o t h e company i n 1934.  the  1 8  In  marketing  a and  later  formed the  more  general  business that  u s e f u l t o c o m p a n i e s on a d a i l y  the the from  Extolling  B a r r o w i n d i c a t e d t h a t he  U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , a r g u e s could  a  benefit  which preserved  whenever p o s s i b l e . B a r r o w ' s t e s t i m o n y a Ford  in  an  for information  also  a r c h i v e s . One  g a n g s t e r C l y d e Barrow sent  the  measureable  from  s u c h a programme.  c a s e of the F o r d the  the  stole  one  basis  for  vein,  h i s t o r y at  archival  R.W. the  material  basis.  which a l l o w for the easy i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g i e s and t a c t i c s c a n s e r v e a of functions for the account e x e c u t i v e or teams w o r k i n g on a client's account. They  53  s e r v e a s an e x c e l l e n t s o u r c e o f m a t e r i a l to rapidly brief a new member o f t h e a c c o u n t team. They p e r m i t a l o n g - t e r m c o n t i n u i t y of m a r k e t i n g s t r a t e g y a s opposed to changes in direction with every change in p e r s o n n e l . L a s t l y , and p e r h a p s most i m p o r t a n t l y , they allow f o r the accumulation of knowledge about the p r o d u c t , i t s c o n s u m e r s and i t s promotions, thereby permitting a d v e r t i s i n g e f f o r t s t o become i n c r e a s i n g l y effective. 1 3  In  proposing  attain  the broad  these  records,  c a t e g o r i e s o f m a t e r i a l t o be  goals,  Pollay  documents  development  and  correspondence The  cites  showing  client  e x e c u t i o n , items  and  ephemera."  and  other  relations,  showing t e c h n o l o g y ,  publicity  a l s o 'serve a s a u s e f u l  meaningful  image o f t h e c o r p o r a t i o n t o i t s key p u b l i c s " .  pony  express. an  service."  2 2  public archival  to  Other  records.  business  participation  In  corporate policies,  have  the  contributes  of  remain  the  from  archival memorabilia  company  would  to  West  and  the  implementing  members  companies  of  the  designated  greater  sense  of the n e g a t i v e  muckraking  staff  in  the  artifacts  increase  public  to and  the g e n e r a l p u b l i c and,  impact  and  Wells  been a b l e  after  a  2 1  reliability  permitted  in  h e l p t o s o f t e n the  which  for  archives,  research  This  featuring of t h e  reputation  b e t w e e n t h e company and  t h e p r o c e s s , may  understanding  a  undertake  understanding  displays  of  in  to communicate a  I n t h i s manner, t h e company has  image  s a t i s f a c t o r y access  history  " i n order  f o r i n s t a n c e , emphasizes i t s t i e s w i t h the o l d  "present  of  relations  tool  better  the  formal campaign  promoting  Fargo,  to  2 0  c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v e s may public  "legal  retained  in  image  years.  2 3  preparation relating  of  to  awareness  The of the and  of the f i r m ' s h i s t o r i c a l e v o l u t i o n .  c o n s i d e r i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s and  the  54  development of the*Coca C o l a A r c h i v e s , L i n d a Matthews o f f e r s t h e following  observations  ...the a r c h i v e s h e l p s t o p r o m o t e a good p u b l i c image by m a k i n g items of memorabilia available to film companies, to merchandizing firms for special p r o m o t i o n s , and t o a u t h o r s w r i t i n g about collectible items, and i t s e r v e s as a d i s p l a y c e n t r e t o p o r t r a y and d r a m a t i z e t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e company's business. In this way t h e a r c h i v i s t f u n c t i o n s as a p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , a n d t h e good p u b l i c image o f t h e company o f t e n d e p e n d s upon h i s e f f e c t i v e n e s s i n handling h i s r e c o r d s and h i s r e s p o n s i v e n e s s t o p u b l i c i n t e r e s t i n Coca C o l a . * 2  Matthew's l a t t e r p o i n t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y that  the  role  providing  of  the  documentation  participant  in  understanding  as  the  the  archivist he  ought  of  from  the  i t s use.  an By  contained  and  merely active  thoroughly in  certain directions  advertising  suggests  go b e y o n d  become  information  a r c h i v e s , he may be a b l e t o s u g g e s t representatives  to  should  process  corporate  i n t e r e s t i n g and  public  his  f o r those relations  departments. An  a r c h i v a l programme c o u l d a l s o p l a y an i m p o r t a n t  employee  orientation.  This  occurs  e m p h a s i s i s p l a c e d on t r a d i t i o n ,  in  where g r e a t  sent  to  the  archives  an o r i e n t a t i o n programme where t h e y  the  company's  accomplishments. a  company  2 5  past,  current circumstances In  this  vein,  David  aware  a n d come t o a p p r e c i a t e i t s h i s t o r i c a l  The k n o w l e d g e o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l  enhances  to  l e a r n about  t h e h i s t o r y a n d d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n , a r e made of  in  image, a n d t h e c h a r a c t e r o f t h e  o r g a n i z a t i o n . A l l new e m p l o y e e s a r e participate  a t Walt Disney  role  the a b i l i t y  of  of t h e employees t o understand  and a l s o a p p r e c i a t e Clutterback  e f f e c t s of both a r c h i v e s and  evolution  museums  future  suggests are  developments.  that although the  largely  intangible,  55  they do provide "a sense of job s e c u r i t y that comes from knowing the o r g a n i z a t i o n has a long and s u c c e s s f u l h i s t o r y . " Archival  programmes  can  also  provide  a unifying force,  p a r t i c u l a r l y within large o r g a n i z a t i o n s . Because interacts  with  with  2 6  the  archivist  a l l l e v e l s of the operation in f u l f i l l i n g  h i s mandate to acquire the permanently  valuable  records  which  c h r o n i c l e the a c t i v i t i e s of the e n t i r e o r g a n i z a t i o n , he provides a  focal  point  c o r p o r a t i o n . In  to  integrate the diverse a c t i v i t i e s of a large  providing  an  overview  of  the  company,  the  archives promotes a greater sense of understanding and u n i t y . this  In  manner, the archives might become a factor c o n t r i b u t i n g to  the development of corporate c u l t u r e . Simply d e f i n e d , corporate c u l t u r e i s "a set of beliefs  shared  by  people  represents employee's based  on  past  working  collective  corporate  in  judgments  rewards  and  v i l l i a n s , myths, successes and f a i l u r e s . " corporate  culture  an  and  organization. about  the  punishments, A  2 7  clearly  the  jobs  which  position  must  be  weak  corporate  may  cultures and  do  not  adaptation.  provide Different  may  the In lack  course  characterized an  environment  parts  of  the  be working at cross purposes; employees worry more  about p o l i t i c s than g e t t i n g the job d o n e . " the  defined  and confidence in the jobs and waste time f i g u r i n g out  condusive to change company  heroes,  performed.  e x a c t l y what they should be doing. "Organizations by  It  future  within  organizations with weak corporate c u l t u r e s , employees security  and  can have a p o s i t i v e e f f e c t upon employees as  they have a better understanding of t h e i r corporation  values  of  his  dealings  with  28  The  archivist,  in  a l l departments w i t h i n the  56  company c a n h e l p t o p r o m o t e  the  dissemination  of  information  throughout the o r g a n i z a t i o n . Indeed intrinsic  the  value  archival  beyond t h e i r  t h e company. As a r e c e n t  records  acquired  may  possess  an  obvious informational usefulness to  study  of Canadian a r c h i v e s put i t ,  . . . i n d i v i d u a l documents, v a l u a b l e f o r t h e i r s i g n a t u r e s or p h i l a t e l i c i n t e r e s t , documents b e a r i n g on c e r t a i n historical events, o l d p h o t o g r a p h s , h i s t o r i c a l maps and s i m i l a r s p e c i a l i t e m s a r e f r e q u e n t l y a n integral part of the administrative record. These have considerable financial value....As well, the t o t a l accumulation o f r e c o r d s b e a r i n g on an o r g a n i z a t i o n o r community can have a m a r k e t a b l e v a l u e . 2 9  In t h i s  sense i t i s p o s s i b l e t o compare a r c h i v a l  a r t c o l l e c t i o n s and o t h e r The as  simple  resources  similar corporate  material  assets.  o f t h e a r c h i v e s m i g h t be u s e d f o r s o m e t h i n g  as p r o v i d i n g h i s t o r i c a l  photographs and b r i e f  f o r a company's a n n u a l r e p o r t . U s u a l l y c o n s i s t i n g o f statement other  and  balance  areas of progress  benefit  sheet,  of t h e s t o c k h o l d e r s a l t h o u g h  annual  pictoral their  the  reports  public.  income  annual report a l s o  reviews  year  primarily  f o r the  reports often circulate to  One  article  has  suggested  h a v e become i n c r e a s i n g l y n o t e d f o r " t h e i r  e x c e l l e n c e and g e n e r a l  solid  3 0  articles  an  over the past  employees and t h e g e n e r a l that  with  statistical  nature  readability,  in  i n former y e a r s "  contrast  with  w h i c h h a s come  from an i n c r e a s i n g r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s v a l u e these  publications.  3 1  In  that  the annual report provides the  i n f o r m a t i o n upon w h i c h many r e a d e r s the c h a r a c t e r inclusion articles. the  of  form t h e i r  impressions  about  o f t h e company, many f i r m s c o u l d b e n e f i t f r o m a l i m i t e d number o f h i s t o r i c a l  T h i s would not o n l y p r o v i d e  necessary  of  statistical  photographs and/or  an i n t e r e s t i n g c h a n g e  i n f o r m a t i o n but  the  would  also  from  yield  a  57  sense and  o f t h e company's h i s t o r y , i t s p r i d e  convey  material of  a  feeling  of  The  m i g h t be p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e  use  achievements, of  historical  i n t h e commemoration  s p e c i a l events i n c l u d i n g corporate a n n i v e r s a r i e s , s i g n i f i c a n t  acquisitions,  or important  More b r o a d l y , archival  an  programme  produce o b j e c t i v e  carefully  i n d e x e d by  greatest  possible  "puffery" company's  be  past.  professional access to t h i s  thoughtfully  archivists  this  g a i n e d f r o m an o b j e c t i v e only  In presenting  the  history rather  than  to  positive  aspects  with  of  o f an o b j e c t i v e  to learn  Arthur  produce biased  of  earlier  with  point  from t h e p a s t i n o r d e r t o  and weaknesses of t h e  organization.  M. J o h n s o n h a s i n d i c a t e d t h a t c o m p a n i e s w h i c h  histories for  their  value are a c t u a l l y taking a greater potential  to deal  h i s t o r y may a l s o p r o v e t o be  that  Historian  people  3 2  h a r k e n s b a c k t o an  assess the strengths  real  being forced  a useful corporate t o o l . This  better  the  anecdotal m a t e r i a l the  a n d s o m e t i m e s s u c c e e d i n g by c h a n c e . "  may be a b l e  of  a h i s t o r y which d e t a i l s mistakes  decisions,  executives  the  the  making  The p r o d u c t i o n  provide  stress  a company composed  foolish  a r r a n g e d , and  to  juncture  " p u b l i c can sympathize w i t h  adversity,  the  important source of c o r p o r a t e  w e l l as s u c c e s s e s and i s e n r i c h e d  and  an  the documentation necessary to  must be a c q u i r e d ,  which c h r o n i c l e s  wise  implementing  t o w r i t e accurate h i s t o r y . Permanently  I t i s necessary at to  of  h i s t o r i e s i n the future. Merely r e t a i n i n g  material  advantages  advantage  i s to provide  valuable  information.  retirements.  obvious  records i s not s u f f i c i e n t  as  stability.  i n past  an o b j e c t i v e  positive risk  public  relations  " t h a n t h o s e who s e e t h e  a n a l y s i s and a r e w i l l i n g  to preserve  58  3 3  t h e r e c o r d s t o make i t p o s s i b l e . " a p p r o a c h has  some i m p o r t a n t  He  suggested  t h a t the  former  implications.  First, the businessmen of the former class deny t h e m s e l v e s an i n v a l u a b l e o p p o r t u n i t y t o l e a r n f r o m t h e past. S e c o n d , by i m p l i c a t i o n , t h e y m a i n t a i n t h a t more i s t o be g a i n e d f r o m s u c c e s s stories than from the analysis of failures or reverses, although the opposite i s frequently t r u e . 3 4  Consequently, business and  i t i s important  community  learning  from  of the the  t h a t the  archivist  importance  records  of  persuade  and  utility  both  past  the  of p r e s e r v i n g successes  and  failures. In  surveying recent trends  histories,  Ronald  Alsop notes  i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n of  that resistance to withholding  n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s of p a s t e x p e r i e n c e business  r e p u t a t i o n may  corporate  for  be w e a k e n i n g  fear  of  injuring  the the  slightly.  C o m p a n i e s may n o t be e a g e r t o a i r t h e i r d i r t y l a u n d r y , but a growing number say that a thorough, u n e m b e l l i s h e d a c c o u n t i s more u s e f u l t o them than a puffy one. They say t h a t t h e y a p p r e c i a t e t h e v a l u e of a s c h o l a r l y h i s t o r y a s a m a r k e t i n g and p l a n n i n g tool, as an aid i n t r a i n i n g new m a n a g e r s and a s a way t o l e a r n more a b o u t why important strategic decisions were made. 3 5  Archivists archival They  retaining different  broader archival  against attempts  to destroy  r e c o r d s a f t e r the p u b l i c a t i o n of the c o r p o r a t e  must  The  must, however, guard  convince these  business  documents  requirements  and  executives  to  meet  the  history.  utility  of  posed  by  challenge  a p p l i c a t i o n s i n the f u t u r e .  f o r e g o i n g d i s c u s s i o n has perspective regarding programme  the  of  the  s t r e s s e d the need t o d e v e l o p  the  potential  within a corporate  functions  setting.  to  longer  to convince  records  write history, a rationale often offered in  to  executives  an  a d v i s a b l e to attempt simply  business  I t i s no  of  a  retain  59  the  first  outmoded  half  traditional  the a r r i v a l adopt  a  organization,  his  role within  interaction  with  v i s i b l e demonstrations  3  provided." Consequently,  knowledge of a r c h i v a l  business  sense t o  programme  into  a l l  the  the  daily  the  archivist  activities  operations  of  the  i n the h i s t o r y  with  r o l e of the a r c h i v e s w i t h i n  a firm understanding  the requirements important efficient  of  of  the  a l l archival  access  t o the  a r c h i v a l programme  to  a  This  functions,  archival  i s greatly  must  utilize  the  archival  business.  would  The  greatly  the corporate  professional  of both basic users.  the  e m p l o y e e w i t h an  o f t h e company. To do s o  s e t t i n g . T h i s t a s k s h o u l d be l e f t  will  i m a g i n a t i o n , and of  interest  potential  of  to  of the public f o r  s h o u l d n o t be e n t r u s t e d t o a l o n g - t i m e  the  the  o f what t h e a r c h i v e s c a n do  t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e ,  integrate  willing  levels  position  reduce  aside  t h e company. T h i s  company a n d s h o w i n g t h e a p p r e c i a t i o n  services  lay  n o t i o n s of the p a s s i v e c u s t o d i a n a w a i t i n g  and a c t i v e  "frequent  the  must  o f o l d d o c u m e n t s . I n s t e a d , t h e y must be  dynamic  involve  for  of t h e c e n t u r y . A r c h i v i s t s  archivist  a r c h i v a l p r i n c i p l e s and i s , perhaps,  for without  material,  diminished.  the  the  most  e f f e c t i v e and value  of  an  60  NOTES 'George Smith, "Dusting Off the Cobwebs: Turning the Business Archives Into A Managerial T o o l , " American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 289. At the time of t h i s a r t i c l e Smith was president of Winthrop Group I n c . , "an a s s o c i a t i o n of consultants and scholars committed to the a n a l y s i s of the problems of contemporary o r g a n i z a t i o n s , " (p. 287). F . L . Sward, "Business A r c h i v i s t 29 (1966), p. 71. 2  3  Records  Management,"  American  S m i t h , "Dusting Off the Cobwebs,," p. 288.  "Richard P o l l a y , "Maintaining An Archives for the H i s t o r y of A d v e r t i s i n g , " Special L i b r a r i e s 69 (1978), p. 145. Deborah S. Gardner, "Commentary II," (1982), p. 295.  American A r c h i v i s t 45  R.W. F e r r i e r , "The Archives 37 (1972), p. 18.  Business,"  5  6  Archivist  in  Business  P h i l i p K o t l e r and Sidney J . Levy, "Broadening the Concept of M a r k e t i n g , " in Marketing in N o n - P r o f i t Organizations, ed. P a t r i c k J . Montana (New York: AMACOM, 1978), p. 13. ~ 7  Three representative examples of t h i s l i t e r a t u r e i n c l u d e , Christopher H. Lovelock, e d . , Readings in N o n - P r o f i t Marketing, (1978); P h i l i p K o t l e r , Marketing for N o n - P r o f i t Organizations, (1975); P a t r i c k J . Montana, ed., Marketing in N o n - P r o f i t Organizations, (1978). 8  John C u r t i s and Stephan Abram, " S p e c i a l and Corporate L i b r a r i e s Planning for S u r v i v a l and Success," Canadian L i b r a r y Journal 40 (August 1983), p. 227. 9  1 0  Ibid.  1 1  S m i t h , p. 289.  L i n d a Edgerly, "Business Archives G u i d e l i n e s , " American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 269. 12  George Smith and Laurence E. Steadman, "Present Value of Corporate H i s t o r y , " Harvard Business Review 59 (1981), p. 164. In t h e i r a r t i c l e , Smith and Steadman emphasize the importance of employing company h i s t o r i a n s as a t o o l of management which would serve a v a r i e t y of purposes including, recounting past experience of adaptations, as a diagnostic t o o l and as a means of r e c a l l i n g great moments from the past to motivate employees. Tapping a company's h i s t o r y reveals an accumulated method of doing things which allows managers to "see the present as part of ' a process rather than as a c o l l e c t i o n of a c c i d e n t a l happenings," (p. 164). 13  61  H . L . White, "Preserving the Past i s Good B u s i n e s s , " B u l l e t i n of the Business Archives Council of A u s t r a l i a V o l . 1 No. 5 ( N . D . ) , p. 2. 1 4  Doug F e t h e r l i n g , "Thanks Business (October 1981), p. 129. 15  D a v i d R. Smith, "A Mouse i s L i b r a r i e s 39 (1978), p. 493. 16  For  the  Born,"  Memories," Canadian College and Research  E d i e H e d l i n , "Access: The Company Georgia Archive 7 (Spring 1979), p. 4. 17  vs  Douglas A. Bakken, "Corporate Archives A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 283. 18  The  Today,"  1 9  P o l l a y , "Maintaining An A r c h i v e s , , " p. 149.  2 0  Ibid.  Scholar," American  pp. 150-51.  ' R i c h a r d E e l l s , "The Corporate Image in P u b l i c R e l a t i o n s , " in Issues in Business and S o c i e t y , ed. W i l l i a m T. Greenwood (Boston: Houghton M u f f l i n C o . , 1964), p. 107. 2  Margaret P r i c e , "Corporate H i s t o r i a n s : A Rare But Growing Breed," Industry Week (March 23, 1981), p. 87. 22  I n a recent book, Douglas Dickson observes that business over the years has f a i l e d to adequately meet the challenges posed by p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s . In the past companies, suspicious of the motivation of the p u b l i c , have e i t h e r resorted to secrecy to repress information about operations or have t r i e d to "whitewash" t h e i r actions by manipulating p u b l i c opinion and using p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s to obscure the f a c t s and cover up t h e i r mistakes. Dickson argues that companies should instead be engaged in candidly r e l a t i n g t h e i r experiences and gradually b u i l d i n g up the respect and t r u s t of the p u b l i c which would then be able to withstand any future c r i s i s . Douglas Dickson, e d . , Business and I t s P u b l i c s (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1984). 2 3  L i n d a M. Matthews, "The Archives of the Coca Company," Records Management Quarterly 9 (1975), p. 10. 24  25  Cola  D a v i d Smith, "A Mouse i s B o r n , , " p. 494.  D a v i d C l u t t e r b a c k , "Turning the R e l i c s of the Past Into Today's A s s e t s , " I n t e r n a t i o n a l Management 32 (November 1977), p. 65. 26  M i r i a m A. Drake, "Information and Corporate S p e c i a l L i b r a r i e s 75 (October 1984), p. 263. 27  2 B  Ibid.,  Cultures,"  p. 265.  " C a n a d i a n A r c h i v e s : Report to the S o c i a l Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada by the Consultative Group 29  62 on Canadian A r c h i v e s , , " (Ottawa: SSHRCC, Hereafter c i t e d as "The Wilson Report".  1980),  pp.  °Encyclopedic D i c t i o n a r y of Systems and Procedures Jersey: P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1966) , p. 3~Tt 3  3 1  7-8. (New  Ibid.  E n i d Hart Douglas, "Corporate History - Why?," The Public H i s t o r i a n 3 (1981), pp. 7 7 - 8 . 3 2  A r t h u r M. Johnson, " I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Business Records For Permanent P r e s e r v a t i o n , " American A r c h i v i s t 24 (1961), p. 331. There are many a r t i c l e s which have addressed the issue of u t i l i z i n g business h i s t o r y as a corporate t o o l . Some of these l i s t e d in the bibliography i n c l u d e ; B r i t c h f o r d , "Business Use of Business H i s t o r y , " (1970); B r o e h l , "Should Your Company P u b l i s h Its History?," (1954); Douglas, "Corporate H i s t o r y - Why?," (1981); Eulenberg, "The Corporate A r c h i v e s : Management Tool and Historical Resource," (1984); Foreman, "History Inside B u s i n e s s , " (1981); Gambi, "Going P u b l i c , " (1983); Price, "Corporate H i s t o r i a n s : A Rare But Growing Breed," (1981); Smith and Steadman, "Present Value of Corporate H i s t o r y , " (1981) and Smith, "Dusting Off the Cobwebs," (1982). 33  3  *Johnson, " I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Business R e c o r d s , , " p. 331.  R o n a l d A l s o p , " H i s t o r i a n s Discover the P i t f a l l s of Doing the Story of a F i r m , " Wall Street Journal (December 27, 1983), p. 6. 35  Christian Norman, "Business Archives and Business H i s t o r y , " H i s t o r y and S o c i a l Science Teacher (December 1983), p. 92. 3 6  63  CHAPTER I V  IMPLEMNTATION - ARCHIVES, RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT  The  preceding  potential of  dealt  a p p l i c a t i o n s of a r c h i v a l  justifying  historical chapter  chapter  corporate  records  briefly resources  a r c h i v e s based  to  with  on  p r i m a r i l y i n terms  e n h a n c e modern b u s i n e s s  and r e l e v a n t  of t h e  the u t i l i z a t i o n  s u g g e s t s two f u r t h e r themes i m p o r t a n t  more e f f i c i e n t  some  functions.  i n making  i n the corporate  of This  archives  s e t t i n g . F i r s t , the  a r c h i v e s would b e n e f i t from a c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h t h e r e c o r d s management programme. T h i s p r o v i d e s systematic at  flow of permanently v a l u a b l e  the time  possibility  an o p p o r t u n i t y  of  disposition.  The  of t h e a r c h i v i s t ' s  records  participation  information  i n which the t r a d i t i o n a l  historical  and c u r r e n t  records  the a r c h i v i s t  c o u l d be  might  t o the  archives  s e c o n d theme c o n s i d e r s t h e  corporate  manner,  t o ensure t h e  i n the flow  broken  of  b a r r i e r s between down.  In  this  assume a s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i o n i n  managing c o r p o r a t e  i n f o r m a t i o n which would r e p l a c e  h i s limited  traditional  of  r e c o r d s . The  adoption the  role  caring  f o r only h i s t o r i c a l  o f s u c h an a p p r o a c h w o u l d b o t h e n h a n c e t h e p o s i t i o n  archivist  greater access  within  the corporate  s e t t i n g and a l s o  t o the information required  by  an  of  provide  increasingly  d i v e r s e group of u s e r s . Most  observers  agree  that  the operation  of archives can  g r e a t l y b e n e f i t from a c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h r e c o r d s programmes. D e s i g n e d t o s c h e d u l e  the systematic  management  disposition  of  64  all  documentation,  records  management o f f e r s the a r c h i v i s t an  opportunity to i d e n t i f y permanently valuable the  life  cycle  records  be  eliminated.  Unfortunately,  d i f f i c u l t to achieve as professions  in  and provide for t h e i r eventual t r a n s f e r to the  a r c h i v e s . In t h i s manner, the haphazard growth of would  early  have  the  such  archival  the  archives  cooperation may be  and  records  management  developed as separate and unique f i e l d s since  the 1950s; the former concerned with  historical  documents  and  the l a t t e r with the management of current records. To understand the present s i t u a t i o n , i t might be u s e f u l to b r i e f l y review t h i s historical  development  and  to  reflect,  on  the prospects and  p o t e n t i a l of future c o o p e r a t i o n . Within a decade of i t s States  governmental  virtually  founding  repository,  in  the  1934 as National  f i l l e d i t s a v a i l a b l e storage space so  accumulation  of  records  designated  for  the  United  Archives great  archival  had  was  the  care.  The  growing volume of m a t e r i a l , much of which had been designated as having long-term v a l u e , prompted administration  programme  the  formation  of  a  records  in 1946 which was designed to " a s s i s t  in developing throughout the Government p r i n c i p l e s and p r a c t i c e s in the f i l i n g , c o l l e c t i o n and segregation of records that facilitate  the d i s p o s a l or t r a n s f e r to the N a t i o n a l Archives as  they became n o n - c u r r e n t . " turned  would  1  At  this  time  the  archivists  t h e i r a t t e n t i o n to the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of current  records  d i d not consider themselves to be c r e a t i n g a new p r o f e s s i o n . There seemingly  was new  only  limited  direction  for  concern  expressed  archivists.  Irving  who  over  2  this  P. S h i l l e r ,  w r i t i n g in the American A r c h i v i s t , complained that the  archival  65 profession  was  "moving  away  from  the fundamental objectives  because of the excessive influence of management s p e c i a l i s t s who have become i n c r e a s i n g l y involved in records work, since  World War I I . . . . "  3  particularly  While acknowledging the b e n e f i t s to be  gained in adopting such a  focus,  Shiller  criticized  what  he  considered an unfortunate development. Among a r c h i v i s t s the cost has been the abandonment of the t r a d i t i o n of s c h o l a r s h i p and research, d e s t r u c t i o n of h i s t o r i o g r a p h y , and the renunciation of broad i n t e l l e c t u a l comprehension of the r e c o r d s . . . . N o w i t appears s u f f i c i e n t to house records safely, to mechanize reference service on the documents, and to keep storage and maintenance costs down to a minimum by means of wholesale d e s t r u c t i o n . " Although  Shiller  claimed  to  speak  for  many  others  in the  p r o f e s s i o n , there i s l i t t l e evidence that h i s concern was widely shared. A noticable develop  after  rift  between  the  two  approaches  function  under  from  the  the auspices of the N a t i o n a l Archives  and Records S e r v i c e s . In 1950, National pointed  to  1950 with the passage of the Federal Records Act  which e s t a b l i s h e d a records management s t a f f separate archival  began  Archivist  W.C.  Grover  out the growing d i f f e r e n c e s between the two professions  by emphasizing the evolving s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . . . . e a c h has b a s i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t emphasis and requires d i f f e r e n t q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . . . a c a d e m i c q u a l i f i c a t i o n s in h i s t o r y and the s o c i a l sciences are e s s e n t i a l for an archivist, if he i s to develop subject matter competence in the area of documentation....management outlook and experience are e s s e n t i a l to the records management s p e c i a l i s t i f he i s to develop as a member of the management team. In a word, the whole f i e l d of dealing with records has progressed s u f f i c i e n t l y to demand a c e r t a i n amount of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . 5  Like  government  records,  those  of  business  also  a t t e n t i o n . Technological advances which s i g n i f i c a n t l y  required increased  66  the  capacity  method  of  to  produce records had not been accompanied by a  administrative  generated  control.  As  a  result,  routinely  documents began to accumulate at unprecedented r a t e s .  I n i t i a l l y business responded by securing storage space for  non-  current records, and, as a v a i l a b l e f a c i l i t i e s f i l l e d , a p e r i o d i c purge  of  m a t e r i a l s occurred. In t h i s unregularized d i s p o s a l of  records, some businessmen learned that although very o l d some of this  material  considered.  had  a  permanent  value  which  had  not  been  The records management profession which had emerged  out of the government's attempts to solve i t s own problems, also provided a corporate The method  practical  approach  to  the  problems  of  managing  records. records  of  management  controlling  efficiency.  In  business, F . L .  profession  records,  offered  reduced  costs  a systematic and  improved  commenting on some of the advantages offered to Sward observed:  The records manager can show the businessman how to reduce the costs of c r e a t i n g records by forms c o n t r o l , correspondence and report c o n t r o l , and s i m i l a r techniques. He can reduce the cost by improving f i l i n g systems, by moving records ' from expensive file equipment to an inexpensive storage center and by s e l e c t i n g records for e a r l y d e s t r u c t i o n instead of l e t t i n g them p i l e up i n d e f i n i t e l y . 6  To  accomplish  retention  and  systematic  these  goals,  disposal  records  schedules  managers  which  established  allowed  for  the  d e s t r u c t i o n of a l l those records which had f u l f i l l e d  l e g a l and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c r i t e r i a . This i n c r e a s i n g s p e c i a l i z a t i o n was c e r t a i n l y the  efforts  of  the  as  a  source  in  National Records Management Council which  attempted to convince business of archives  reflected  for  both  historical  the  need  research  to  maintain  and to adopt  67  r e c o r d s management t e c h n i q u e s output failed  of  records.  to  for  business  historic  adequately  m a t e r i a l . The  of  the  community. A l t h o u g h  not  improving  contained  the  ever-increasing  records  managers  measures  by  fulfilled  their  be  by  kept  did  access  demonstrate  destroying  many  benefits  w i t h the  to  the  volume  a r c h i v e s and  information  of  documents, cost-saving  were n o t  secured  required  distinction the  ascendency  former  less  t a n g i b l e r e t u r n s of t h e l a t t e r . T h e r e f o r e , w i t h i n t e r e s t  support  t h e b u s i n e s s w o r l d b a s e d on e f f i c i e n c y  archival  programmes  f o r t h e C o u n c i l gave way,  in  decline,  the  had to  between  the  implementing  of  business  of the r o u t i n e r e c o r d s which  l a w . T h i s gave r i s e t o a c l e a r  in  undertaking  significant  o p e r a t i o n a l f u n c t i o n s and  r e c o r d s management and  the  r e c o r d s management component  of t h e programme, h o w e v e r , became v e r y p o p u l a r  within  controlling  S p e a r h e a d e d by a c a d e m i c s , t h i s  convince  preserving  as a method  over  of the in  academic  l e a v i n g i n i t s p l a c e Noremco,  a c o m m e r c i a l company d e d i c a t e d t o p r o v i d i n g  records  management  services. This,  then,  illustrates  p r o f e s s i o n s developed 1950s.  As  and  time passed,  t h e r e a l m o f e a c h more  the  manner  in  which  the  two  in  the  began t o d i v e r g e p a r t i c u l a r l y  t h e two clearly  became i n c r e a s i n g l y d i s t i n c t defined.  The  crystalizing  and of  t h e s e p e r c e p t i o n s gave r i s e t o the s t e r e o t y p i n g of t h e f u n c t i o n s of  each  which  tended  to influence t h e i r  relative  b u s i n e s s c o m m u n i t y . I n h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of t h e definition  o f t h e g o a l s o f t h e two  value  i n the  r a t h e r narrow  p r o f e s s i o n s , G e r a l d F.  suggested: The archivist serves h i s t o r i a n and p o s t e r i t y  the needs of the s c h o l a r , the whereas the records manager  Brown  68  s e r v e s t h e n e e d s of a b u s i n e s s w h i c h i s u s u a l l y p r o f i t motivated and which i s i n t e r e s t e d i n the i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h c o n t r i b u t e s t o or p r o t e c t s t h a t p r o f i t or goals of t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n . 7  Superficially, conflict  i t appeared that the  with  those  delineate clearly professions One  has  of  the  the  goals  records  of t h e a r c h i v i s t  manager. T h i s  tendency  seemingly e x c l u s i v e parameters of the  been  aspects  o f an  records  management  part  of  information  life  identifying  and  provides  management  a very  permanently  valuable p a r t of  management  and  c o m b i n a t i o n of programme the  corporate a  organic  of  which  flows  split  which  developed  been d e t r i m e n t a l  to  companies opted f o r the  the  two  h o w e v e r , be a t  the  inability  p r o f e s s i o n s may,  to  exponential their on  the  g r o w t h of r e c o r d s .  r e l a t i o n s h i p . The  trend  a p p e a r s t o be  historical toward one  the  an  archival  to  w h i c h has  mounting  criteria  to  the  of  records between  l e a s t p a r t l y blamed adequate  in large part  justify  that might b e n e f i c i a l l y  two  corporate  developed  problems  differentiation  and  archives.  between  growth  develop  This  the  n a r r o w v i e w o f t h e a r c h i v a l p r o f e s s i o n and  utilizing  This  archivists  alleviate  are,  information  t a n g i b l e r e t u r n s of  division  criteria  cycle, i t preserving  of  to  the  management p r o g r a m m e s . The  of  integral  processes  with  material  professions as  an  r a m i f i c a t i o n s f o r both the q u a l i t y  the  archives  system  management t e c h n i q u e s  Consequently, has  as  two  enjoy something of a s y m b i o t i c  important  quantity  m a t e r i a l . The  single  records  has  the  e f f e c t i v e method of  in r e a l i t y ,  two  a r c h i v a l programme  i s t h a t when c o m b i n e d w i t h the  to  unfortunate;  o f t h e most i m p o r t a n t  of  would  be  by  resulted  their  of the  appraisal  posed  the  two  on  the from  insistence positions. professions  reversed  in  the  69  future  in  the i n t e r e s t of promoting more comprehensive c o n t r o l  over corporate records. The enunciation of the need for cooperation i s not new can,  and  in f a c t , be traced back to the 1950s at the very time when  the two professions f i r s t began to d r i f t stated  apart.  Morris  Radoff  that "we do not share common i n t e r e s t s , we have only one  i n t e r e s t ; namely the guardianship of records" and suggested that unnecessary and a r t i f i c i a l s p e c i a l i t i e s were deal  with  documents  being  created  at various stages of t h e i r l i f e  to  history.  8  R.A. S h i f f , president of the N a t i o n a l Records Management Council in 1955, observed that the functions of related  the  two  were  closely  and perhaps even interchangable p a r t i c u l a r l y in dealing  with business records. There are some who contend that because the a r c h i v i s t serves the scholar and the records manager serves the a d m i n i s t r a t o r , the two functions require different d i s c i p l i n e s and therefore cannot be f u l f i l l e d by the same person. We do not b e l i e v e that t h i s i s uniformly true. Certainly, if i t i s t r u e , then most of the business world w i l l remain outside the sphere of archival influence. Few companies, i f any, can reasonably maintain two separate p o s i t i o n s , one for the a r c h i v i s t and one for a records manager. If we are going to have a general a r c h i v a l and records management counsciousness in business i t must be in conjunction with the a b i l i t y of- the a r c h i v i s t or records manager to serve the combined n e e d . 9  S h i f f thus believed that there need not be the developing p r o f e s s i o n s . Unfortunately, individuals  failed  a  division  between  the i n s i g h t s of these  to sway the dominant thought of the day and  the two professions continued to develop independently. However, with the passage of time, t h e i r observations r i n g very t r u e . The a r c h i v i s t , retention  and  identification  by  participating  in  the  development  of  d i s p o s a l schedules, helps to guarantee the early and  preservation  of  a  company's  permanently  70  valuable  records  as  well  as t h e i r systematic t r a n s f e r to the  archives at the time of d i s p o s i t i o n . A r c h i v a l process,  which  managers,  is  corporate  records  leaves  has  long  very  little  necessary produced  margin  preservation.  been  Early  for  input  the  sole  concern  given  that  only  into  this  of records  1-5% of  all  a c t u a l l y have a r c h i v a l v a l u e . This error  in  identification  their of  material a l s o allows for the d e s t r u c t i o n  selection  this of  small  all  core  and of  non-essential  records. The r o l e of the a r c h i v i s t in the records management process to  develop  an  integrated  information  management  system  important in c o n t r o l l i n g the whole l i f e of the records from creation  of  the  archivist  management.  As  the  document to i t s ultimate d i s p o s i t i o n - e i t h e r  destruction or a r c h i v a l p r e s e r v a t i o n . This the  is  become Marcel  actively Caya  has  role  involved suggested,  requires in  that  information  this  archival  i n t e r v e n t i o n ha's important r a m i f i c a t i o n s . Instead of - being confined . . . to the reception of those records which are sent to the a r c h i v e s , the archivist-records manager can intervene in the d e s i g n a t i o n , the s e l e c t i o n and preservation of a l l the records of permanent value without having to wait p a s s i v e l y for them to become obsolete or r i s k i n g o u t r i g h t d i s p o s a l by a c a r e l e s s a d m i n i s t r a t o r . The i n c r e a s i n g involvement of the a r c h i v i s t in records management means he no longer has to act as fireman waiting for c a l l s to save old records, but rather that he can develop more systematic plans of t r a n s f e r of valuable records to permanent s t o r a g e . 1 0  Consequently, a r c h i v i s t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y in a should  strive  to  overcome  corporate  setting,  the a r t i f i c i a l b a r r i e r s which have  been placed between archives and records management. There i s no reason why i n d i v i d u a l s with a r c h i v a l t r a i n i n g cannot become  the  coordinators of combined programmes. One might even suggest that  71  the  archivist  records  stands  manager  governing  all  necessary to records  to  control  such  corporate  ensure  with  in a more advantageous p o s i t i o n than the  the  an  records.  integrated This  11  identification  historical  importance  is  and  programme particularly  preservation  of  which the records manager  might not f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e . This need for a r c h i v i s t s to become i n c r e a s i n g l y in  the  management  Taylor  who  has  observations.  12  of  information  advanced  a  has been addressed by Hugh  number  of  thought-provoking  In d i s c u s s i n g the development of what he termed  the " h i s t o r i c a l shunt", Taylor became  integrated  increasingly  devoted  s c h o l a r s h i p a f t e r the  French  has to  suggested  that  archivists  the service of h i s t o r i a n s and  Revolution  during  the  rise  of  s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r y . P r i o r to t h i s time the r o l e of the a r c h i v i s t had  been s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t as the "keeping of records was  always regarded s t r i c t l y as an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e f u n c t i o n : archives were kept for kings, property owners and then, i n c r e a s i n g l y  for  European s t a t e s , to protect r i g h t s or document d e c i s i o n s , not to allow for the w r i t i n g of This  history."  partnership  1 3  with  historians  r a m i f i c a t i o n s as over the years the keepers archivists which  became  produced  archivists records creation  the  records.  detached Such  a  of  the  important record  or  from the bureaucracy  re-orientation  caused  to lose much of the contextual information about the  (including of  the  functioning of the available  increasingly  had  the  conditions  documents  which  gave  rise  to  the  and t h e i r subsequent impact on the  organization)  and  also  reduced  the  data  for d e c i s i o n making. In T a y l o r ' s view, the decreasing  72  access and for  to information  "had i m p o r t a n t  t h e whole b u r e a u c r a t i c current  archivists  the p r o v i s i o n of access  structure."  provide  is  t o the  mainstream  of  which has l i m i t e d greater should  role  the  input "they  the  contained  planning  effectively,  the  with both  the advent of automation opportunity  to  effectiveness.  will  re-enter  In  the  shunt"  assuming  a  i n f o r m a t i o n management, t h e a r c h i v i s t into  the  creation  a r e designed  not only  of  documents  t o serve  and  development."  1 5  To  a r c h i v i s t must be p e r c e i v e d  than a h i s t o r i a n . T a y l o r has proposed  to  immediate  a d m i n i s t r a t i v e ends, but a l s o a d m i n i s t r a t i v e / h i s t o r i c a l for policy  need  in  and escape t h e " h i s t o r i c a l  overall  i n corporate  that  stressed  information  that  keeping  his  be a l l o w e d  guarantee  with  record  He  f o r t h e s e r v i c e of h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n .  optimistic  the a r c h i v i s t  1 0  formation  t o i n c r e a s i n g l y concern themselves  a c t i v e and dormant r e c o r d s Taylor  e f f e c t s on p o l i c y  research  accomplish  this  a s s o m e t h i n g more  that  ...we should increasingly encourage our major institutions i n t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r t o make u s e o f t h e archivist not j u s t as a r e s i d e n t historian and c u s t o d i a n o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l r e c o r d s , b u t a s one v e r s e d in the whole nature of documentation and i t s implications, capable of s u p e r v i s i n g a r c h i v e s and records management, f o r m s a n a l y s i s ( w h i c h i s a modern concept of d i p l o m a t i c ) and i n f o r m a t i o n management generally.... 1 6  In  short,  become  Taylor  has  "overarching  emphasis."  articulated  information  specialists  with  archival  1 7  Finally,  Taylor  also  " c u r r e n t " and " a r c h i v a l " the h i s t o r i c a l when  t h e need f o r a r c h i v i s t s t o  argued  records  that  t h e break between t h e  h a s been s i m p l y  method a n d t h a t s u c h a d i v i s i o n  considering  a  should  fiction be  of  ignored  the information a v a i l a b l e to the bureaucratic  73  o r g a n i z a t i o n . He c i t e d a " p r e s s i n g n e e d by public  alike  f o r more  effective  t r a i n i n g which recognizes  government  retrieval  departments and i n a r c h i v e s . "  calibre  t o work  variety work  of u s e r  closely  access  to  those  requires  departments  v a r i o u s r e c o r d s . The s u c c e s s have i m p o r t a n t  a l l corporate  g r o u p s . To do s o with  provide both  should  become t h e  information that  creating  of the a r c h i v i s t  the  and u s i n g t h e  in this role  i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r t h e f u t u r e when,  effective  diffusion  information. Miriam this  and  Drake sees a  utilization radically  for a  archivist  many  of  altered  might  predict,  f u n d a m e n t a l o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s may be t r a n s f o r m e d the  in  1 8  I n c r e a s i n g l y , the o b j e c t of the a r c h i v i s t of  the  and f o r a r c h i v a l  t h i s continuum and which c o u l d  i n f o r m a t i o n s p e c i a l i s t s of a p p r o p r i a t e  maximization  and  through corporate  future  in  regard. The c o r p o r a t e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e f u t u r e w i l l n o t be t h e pyramid of today. The s t r u c t u r e i s likely t o be flatter and c o n t a i n fewer l a y e r s . Work will be performed in smaller, more autonomous units. Information technology will provide t h e means f o r l i n k i n g these s m a l l e r u n i t s w i t h each other and with the corporate staff...Electronic mail and easy r e t r i e v a l of information will make i t e a s i e r f o r p e o p l e t o b y p a s s t h e h i e r a r c h y , b o t h up a n d d o w n . . . . 19  It he  is  i s prepared  have in  i n t o such a f u t u r e t h a t t h e a r c h i v i s t t o l a y a s i d e outmoded n o t i o n s  l i m i t e d past  will  be  of  to step i f  archives  which  contributions. His willingness to participate  the d i f f u s i o n of corporate  a significant  i s able  information w i l l  provide  him  with  r o l e w i t h i n t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n a n d g u a r a n t e e t h a t he  better  v a r i e t y of user  able  t o maximize t h e use of i n f o r m a t i o n  for a  groups.  Much o f t h e p r e c e e d i n g  discussion  has  focused  upon  the  74  importance  of  drawing  the a r c h i v i s t c l o s e r i n t o the m i l i e u of  records, and more p a r t i c u l a r l y ,  information management.  the  information  management  of  corporate  is  the single-most  important s k i l l which the a r c h i v i s t might be able the  corporate  world.  The  discussion  is  different  from  that  of  that  upon  the  to  value  of  the  programme  i n t a n g i b l e c u l t u r a l c r i t e r i a carry l i t t l e this  discussion  archivists  in  offer  to  the  business  i t s p u b l i c counterpart.  Because the corporate a r c h i v i s t i s c a l l e d practical  to  of the j u s t i f i c a t i o n or  " s e l l i n g p o i n t s " for archives has suggested archives  Perhaps  to  demonstrate  the o r g a n i z a t i o n ,  weight.  Implicit  in  i s the suggestion that t r a d i t i o n a l t r a i n i n g of historical  methodology  may  not  be  entirely  would  see the  relevant in a corporate s e t t i n g . In  advocating  archivist  become  management  of  this an  expanded  increasingly  corporate  role  which  important  information,  it  element  might  Norton.  As  early  as  1929,  the  be useful to  r e c a l l the ageless advice of I l l i n o i s State A r c h i v i s t , Cross  in  Margaret  she enunciated the need to  emphasize the p o s i t i o n of a r c h i v i s t as promoting  administrative  efficiency  the  needs  the  classical  and  historians. theories  2 0  as  only  secondarily  serving  Her views f i t comfortably developed  by  Hilary  between Jenkinson  and  of  Theodore  Schellenberg. Jenkinson stressed that while the a r c h i v i s t  would  require some knowledge of h i s t o r y and he may be i n t e r e s t e d in i t personally, Historian."  "...the 2 1  Archivist  is  not  and ought not to be an  He stressed the need to d e l i n e a t e the a r c h i v a l and  historical  professions.  served  a passive curator for the records entrusted i n t o h i s  as  In  Jenkinson's  view,  the  archivist  75  care  f o r t h e use of t h e "person or p e r s o n s r e s p o n s i b l e  transaction  and t h e i r  responsible  legitimate successors"  preserved  created based  for  or a c c u m u l a t e d . on  cultural  administrative of  however, argued t h a t  reasons other 2 3  reference.  that  s e l e c t i o n and perspective In  the  destruction  ideas,  body w h i c h c r e a t e d opposed best  to  2  -tool. " records  of  records  because  research  i n the records  role  Schellenberg  his  broad  material.  not  should  Schellenberg's  so  categorically  and, i n f a c t , argued t h a t the  was p r e s e r v e d to discourage  as  i n the future an  i f the  administrative  t h e use of g o v e r n m e n t a l  however, historical  that  process.  records  research  s t u d i e s . Norton agreed  with  t h a t t h e a r c h i v i s t p l a y an a c t i v e r o l e  i n t h e management o f r e c o r d s appraisal  and  o f a r c h i v a l programmes o v e r t h e  from h i s t o r i c a l  suggestion  be  use of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e  by h i s t o r i a n s , b u t r a t h e r t o e m p h a s i z e t h e p r a c t i c a l  less obvious returns  the  of  she b e l i e v e d t h a t a r c h i v e s  tangible admininstrative aspects  to  than  u n d e r s t a n d and p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e  them. H o w e v e r , she was n o t  sought  rather  of documents,  f o r the p r a c t i c a l  historical  She  value  retained  who v i e w e d t h e  i n t e r e s t o f h i s t o r i a n s w o u l d be s e r v e d  information  must  Norton e x p r e s s e d elements of each of these  theories. Like Jenkinson, preserved  research  curator  from which t o a p p r a i s e  her  primarily  or  archivist  archives  o u g h t t o be  Unlike Jenkinson,  the a r c h i v i s t as a p a s s i v e  proposed  2 2  t h a n t h o s e f o r w h i c h t h e y were  For him, records  criterion  the  who a l o n e w o u l d be  f o r t h e a p p r a i s a l and d e s t r u c t i o n of m a t e r i a l .  Theodore S c h e l l e n b e r g , be  for  by p r o v i d i n g a b r o a d e r She  should  rather  disagreed be  maintained  with  perspective h i s premise,  primarily  than a d m i n i s t r a t i v e uses.  for  Although  76  circulating been  f o r over f i f t y  widely  accepted  years,  in  the  tended to perpetuate a r a t h e r on  traditional In t h e i r  public out  archival  that  the  l i m i t e d notion  of  yet  archives  s t u d y of  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p of a r c h i v e s ,  has  based  archival  profession  has  history  James O ' T o o l e  suffered  associated  In t h e i r  with  a  close  and  pointed  because  to emphasize i t s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e r o l e i n order  2 5  not  ties with history.  problems  history.  have  p r o f e s s i o n , which  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , Andrew Raymond and  failure the  Norton's ideas  of  a  to  escape  identification  with  view:  It is ironic t h a t t h e h i s t o r y p r o f e s s i o n , w h i c h has done so much t o i n i t i a t e and advance the cause of archives i n America may at the same t i m e have u n w i t t i n g l y contributed to a misunderstanding of the primary functions of a r c h i v e s . A r c h i v i s t s t h e m s e l v e s have not yet succeeded in clarifying the misunderstanding. The historical and archival p r o f e s s i o n s h a v e become c o n f u s e d i n s p i t e of the developments t h a t have s e p a r a t e d t h e m . 2 6  Although  recognizing  the  i m p o r t a n c e o f h i s t o r i a n s as  p r i m a r y u s e r g r o u p s , as w e l l as archival  development,  differentiation archives  as  Hugh  of  the  Raymond two  their  also  and  O'Toole  professions  made  clear  that  escape from the  restricted  the  p o t e n t i a l f u n c t i o n s of a r c h i v a l  preserving crucial  expand records  in  the  the  scope  of  the  research.  long  programmes. beyond  2 7  should  s h u n t " w h i c h has  the a r c h i v i s t  of  The  simply  from which t o w r i t e h i s t o r i e s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y corporate  demonstrated  that  the  community.  business  "historical  to  the p o r t r a y a l  archivists  to  to  the  advocated  and  endeavour  ability  of  important c o n t r i b u t i o n s  s o m e t h i n g more t h a n t o o l f o r h i s t o r i c a l Taylor  one  s u c h an  setting.  Past  experience  has  a p p r o a c h has  held  l i m i t e d appeal  for  Archives  must  be  established  as  a  77  recognized  business  activity,  serving  the  needs  c o r p o r a t i o n s . A t r a n s i t i o n from the handmaidens the  management  of  of  modern  history  to  of corporate information might provide the best  means of f u l f i l l i n g such a g o a l . A r c h i v i s t s of the future should a l s o understand more about the context and c o n d i t i o n which  gave  r i s e to the c r e a t i o n of records as w e l l as the subsequent impact on  the  operation  or structure of the o r g a n i z a t i o n . This again  returns to Norton's a s s e r t i o n that  one  must  provide  a  solid  a d m i n i s t r a t i v e basis upon which to j u s t i f y a r c h i v a l programmes. This proposed transformation does not suggest a s i g n i f i c a n t reaction  against  the  historical  p r o f e s s i o n or the h i s t o r i c a l  roots of a r c h i v a l development. Rather i t i s determining  how  best  to  ensure  simply  a  case  the preservation of business  records. For the a r c h i v i s t to assume a broader role., i t w i l l necessary  to  provide  t r a i n i n g in h i s t o r y .  of  be  him with something more than an academic While  history  remains  a  very  valuable  background study for a r c h i v i s t s , they might benefit from further training  in  records and information management, automation and  business p r a c t i c e s . The p o s i t i o n would s t i l l archivist  understand  the  value  and  require  significance  that  of h i s t o r y  e i t h e r through a personal background in the f i e l d or by the  the  seeking  advice of p r o f e s s i o n a l s . As Jenkinson suggested, however, a  d i s t i n c t i o n must be made between  the  archival  and  historical  professions. The  requirements  of  researchers should not be ignored in  formulating future courses for a r c h i v a l development.  Ironically,  while many h i s t o r i a n s are concerned about any trend which see  archivists  move  into  information  management,  would such  a  78  transition including  would  provide  historians.  This,  about the i s s u e of access bedevilled  historians.  historical  criterion will  appraisal  of  critical  records.  more  information  however,  to corporate Likewise,  raises records  movement  have i m p o r t a n t Both  of  these  c o n s i d e r a t i o n of a r c h i v i s t s  for a l l future which away  issues w i l l  i n the future.  concerns has  from  ramifications  users,  long purely  f o r the  r e q u i r e the  79  NOTES 'Phillip C. Brooks, "Current Aspects of A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , " American A r c h i v i s t 6 (1943), p. 160.  Records  Frank Evans, " A r c h i v i s t s and Records Managers: V a r i a t i o n s On A Theme," American A r c h i v i s t 30 (1967), p. 46. 2  I r v i n g P. S h i l l e r , "The A r c h i v a l Profession American A r c h i v i s t 11 (1948), p. 227. 3  in  Eclipse,"  " I b i d . , pp. 229-30. 5  Evans, " A r c h i v i s t s and Records Managers," p. 51.  F.L. Sward, "Business A r c h i v i s t 29 (1966), p. 70. 6  Records  Management,"  American  'Gerald F. Brown, "The A r c h i v i s t and the Records Manager: A Records Manager's Viewpoint," Records Management Quarterly 5 (1971), p. M o r r i s Radoff. "What Should Bind Us Together?," American A r c h i v i s t 19 (1956), pp. 4~5. 8  Robert A. S h i f f , "The A r c h i v i s t ' s Role Management," American A r c h i v i s t 19 (1956), p. 111. 9  in  Records  M a r c e l Caya, "Why Worry About the Present When the Past i s Our B u s i n e s s ! ? , " (Paper Presented at the Business History Conference, Trent U n i v e r s i t y , 25 May 1984), p. 8 . 10  Two Canadian examples of t h i s arrangement occur at P e t r o Canada and Imperial O i l where a r c h i v i s t s , Bryan Corbett and Robert Taylor-Vaisey respectively, manage integrated records management/archival programmes. l1  Hugh T a y l o r , "Information Ecology and the Archives of the 1980s," A r c h i v a r i a 18 (Summer 1984). 12  13  1  C a y a , "Why Worry About the P r e s e n t ! ? , " p. 6.  " T a y l o r , "Information Ecology," p. 28.  1 5  Ibid.,  p. 30.  1 6  Ibid.,  pp. 3 1 - 2 .  " I b i d . , p. 32. 1 8  Ibid.,  p. 34.  Miriam Drake, "Information and Corporate S p e c i a l L i b r a r i e s 75 (October 1984), p. 265. 19  Cultures,"  80  2 0  M a r g a r e t C r o s s N o r t o n , N o r t o n on A r c h i v e s , e d . T h o r t o n M i t c h e l l ( C h i c a g o : SAA, 1 9 7 9 ) , pp. 4-5. 2  'Hilary Jenkinson, ( L o n d o n : P e r c y , L u n d and Co., 2 2  Ibid.,  p.  A Manual of A r c h i v e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 123.  124.  2 3  Theodore S c h e l l e n b e r g , The Management o f A r c h i v e s Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 28\ 2 U  W.  N o r t o n , N o r t o n On  2 5  (New  Archives.  A n d r e w Raymond and James O ' T o o l e , "Up From t h e Basement: Archives, H i s t o r y and P u b l i c A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , " G e o r g i a A r c h i v e A (1978). 2 6  Ibid.,  p.  20.  2 7  Ibid.,  p.  21.  81  CHAPTER V  APPRAISAL AND ACCESS  In a d d i t i o n to the obvious d i f f i c u l t i e s justify  the  idea  development of a corporate  of  archives  broader  programmes,  in  notion  the  in  attempting  to  the business world and the  of  the  archivist  potential  must  s p e c i f i c problems of what records should be  also  roles  of  consider the  preserved  whose use? As i n d i c a t e d at the outset of t h i s t h e s i s ,  and  for  archivists  should consider expanding t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l l y l i m i t e d h i s t o r i c a l focus to serve a wider audience and become a recognized business activity.  Such  a  s h i f t would have important r a m i f i c a t i o n s for  the issues of a p p r a i s a l and access in the corporate s e t t i n g .  If  archivists  is  begin  to  serve  the  needs of a wider audience,  h i s t o r i c a l c r i t e r i a a v i a b l e b a s i s s o l e l y upon which to appraise corporate records? If not, how should the a r c h i v i s t approach the problem and to whom might he turn for input This  will  archivist  become becomes  information.  In  an  increasingly  involved  in  into  critical  the  the  problem  management  of  done  current  they  have  to  be  derived  from  granting  to company records must be c a r e f u l l y weighed against the  p o t e n t i a l damage to the f i r m ' s Both  the  in the p a s t . This i s s u e , however, requires some  reconsideration as the b e n e f i t s access  if  operating p r i v a t e a r c h i v e s , companies are able  to close t h e i r records to outside researchers, which generally  process?  of  these  important i f the  issues,  reputation  which  might  ensue.  a p p r a i s a l and access, are p a r t i c u l a r l y  archivist  has  designs  on  assuming  a  more  82  effective position Although  a  i n the f u t u r e . difficult  subject  with  which  l i m i t e d d i s c u s s i o n , the i s s u e of a p p r a i s a l i s for  v i r t u a l l y a l l corporate a r c h i v i s t s . How  fraction  of  archival  preservation?  rendered  increasingly  businesses  the  in  to  a  d e a l in a  vital  concern  does one decide what  t o t a l c o r p o r a t e records produced i s worthy of  this  This  issue  complex  century  of  with  is  appraisal,  the  not  which  is  tremendous growth of  unique  to  business  for  government a r c h i v e s share s i m i l a r problems. In  the  period  particularly after experienced r i s e of  the  turn  the  of  the  bureaucratic  both  War,  century,  and  North  on the r i s e  in  organizations.  This  government and business, was  mimeograph and  phenomenon, made p o s s i b l e  i n t e r l e a v e n e d carbons.  as  of  to World War  World War  I to the Depression  1  1,500,000 c u . f t . ...3,500,000 c u . f t .  Decade of the 1930s  10,000,000 c u . f t .  r a p i d growth i n the volume changes  of  records  i n the government and  f a b r i c of the economy. The  small  century  by  were  1  the F e d e r a l Government to the C i v i l 100,000 c u . f t .  C i v i l War  fundamental  various  S c h e l l e n b e r g c i t e d the f o l l o w i n g f i g u r e s :  Establishment War  the  In commenting  i n the p r o d u c t i o n of government records f o r  p e r i o d s , T.R.  more  America  the i n t r o d u c t i o n of t e c h n o l o g i c a l advances such  typewriter,  The  Civil  e x p l o s i o n i n . t h e p r o d u c t i o n of records with the  modern  observable through  an  following  superseded  craftsmen  the  p r o d u c t i o n and mass d i s t r i b u t i o n .  2  the b a s i c of  mechanized The  resulted  the  industrial nineteenth  factories,  emergence  of  from  the  mass huge  83  vertically-integrated A l f r e d Chandler's The f o r the production Taylor  business  V i s i b l e Hand  3  so  had  well  fundamentally change  the  factory  clerical  documented  in  important r a m i f i c a t i o n s  of records. J u s t as the  revolutionized  evolving  firms  ideas  system  so  positions."  In  of  Frederick  too  did  they  discussing  the  s i t u a t i o n w i t h i n the government, Margaret Cross Norton  noted: The number of functions to be performed and the rapidly growing number of employees made i t i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t f o r e x e c u t i v e s to keep t r a c k of what was going on in their offices. Just as the manufacturers h i t upon the idea of the assembly l i n e as a means of d i v i d i n g mechanical processes to the point where more people c o u l d do more with l e s s s u p e r v i s i o n , so a d m i n i s t r a t o r s turned i n c r e a s i n g l y to the use of forms and m u l t i p l e c o p i e s of documents as a means of d i v i d i n g and at the same time c o n t r o l l i n g the work of t h e i r s u b o r d i n a t e s . 5  T h i s i n c r e a s i n g tendency toward s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , generated a demand  for  more  information realize  paper  the  orderly  flow  of  w i t h i n the bureaucracy. Companies  quickly  came  to  facilitate  that t h i s presented  of the o l d records employee  to  found  a problem. While i n v e s t i g a t i n g some  from Standard O i l in the  a  1922  memo  United  States,  from the o f f i c e of the Corporate  S e c r e t a r y which lamented that "the problem of the Company's records and  has  storage  become a p r e s s i n g one space r e q u i r e d . "  6  an  due  old  to the r a p i d accumulation  Unfortunately  no system of c o n t r o l  accompanied the tremendous growth of records d u r i n g  this  initial  pe r i od. With the r i s i n g business  records  interest  beginning  in in  the the  use  and  1920s,  a t t e n t i o n p a i d to the need to develop a p p r a i s a l situation  was  c e r t a i n l y understandable given  collection  there  was  criteria.  of  little This  that the a r c h i v a l  84  p r o f e s s i o n was collecting  then only i n i t s infancy and because most of  effort  focussed  on  nineteenth  century  p o s s s e s i n g l i m i t e d r e c o r d s . Before the advent of the i n t e g r a t e d c o r p o r a t i o n s , decades of "recorded not  more  than  two  or  three  volumes."  slowly s h i f t e d to the r e c o r d s of quickly  became  apparent  made t h e i r c o l l e c t i o n The  first  increasing  of  advocate  inherent  the b u s i n e s s . . . . "  archivists realized  9  in  action  business  the  impracticality and  turned  percentage  contributed  offering  to  offset  records was  very  the  Hower.  8  of 1 0  He  i n order to r e f l e c t phase and  material  of c o l l e c t i n g records i n e x i s t i n g  their  c o u l d be a c t u a l l y r e t a i n e d . Cole  impossible.  attention t h e i r own  to  the  be  task  necessary  selective and  the mountain of business In the  final  of  records.  h i s approach to a p p r a i s a l , Cole conceded that  small  it  S h o r t l y , t h e r e a f t e r , those h i s t o r i a n s  p r e s e r v a t i o n of business records would a  firms,  complete i n f o r m a t i o n about every  c o n v i n c i n g businesses to maintain  only  interest  i n t e r e s t e d i n the p r e s e r v a t i o n of c o r p o r a t e  repositories  In  century  filled  that the i n c r e a s i n g volume of r e c o r d s  to  reasonably  vertically-  However, as  twentieth  argued that most records should be preserved "accurate and  operations  transfers  in existing repositories  author  bulk  7  the  analysis,  l i t t l e concrete c r i t e r i a  that  records however,  for appraisal,  i n s t e a d only vague questions f o r f u t u r e development.  On what b a s i s s h a l l the c o l l e c t i o n s of documents proceed and with what o b j e c t i v e s i n t h e i r s e v e r a l regions s h a l l f u t u r e a p o s t l e s of a c t i v i t y by companies lay t h e i r campaigns? Is there no way by which the guild of economic and business h i s t o r i a n s can block out a minimum scheme, and set up some c e n t r a l body with s e v e r a l o b j e c t i v e s ; f i r s t , to a s c e r t a i n what p o r t i o n of this scheme i s a l r e a d y accomplished or i n the way of f u l f i l l m e n t ; t h e r e a f t e r to act as a c l e a r i n g house of i n f o r m a t i o n upon c u r r e n t a c t i v i t i e s ; and perhaps to  85  give advice i f and when a s k e d - upon t h e p r o b l e m s t h a t now c o n f r o n t l i b r a r i e s and h i s t o r i c a l societies and that may w e l l p e r p l e x l o c a l m i s s i o n a r y g r o u p s i n s u b s e q u e n t y e a r s . Such a c o m m i t t e e c o u l d likewise be charged with the development o f p l a n s i n t h e whole area of business manuscript collection and preservation. 1 1  Implicit  i n Cole's discussion  criteria  should  business devised  somehow  be  was t h e n o t i o n t h a t based  and economic h i s t o r i a n s . by C l o u g h  and C o c h r a n  upon Even  the a r c h i v i s t  would be t h e w r i t i n g  S u c h an o r i e n t a t i o n to develop a p p r a i s a l that  the  clear  n o r had t h e y  records  users  he c i t e d  discussion  of  produced  providing Hamilton  the f i r s t  In h i s  for their  problems  article,  observed be  criteria that  never  had t h e p o t e n t i a l  something  less  1 2  who,  needs  of  the  in his  t o the study of  permanently,  explicit  suggested  To e m p h a s i z e h i s  a l l the  vitally  i n the quest  not a l l  as i t r e l a t e d  t o be  than  volume o f  made t h e i r  that  studies.  while not  preserved  system  p r i o r i t y of  Cole  t h e example o f J . G . H a m i l t o n  appraisal  could  documentation  caused  f a c e d up t o t h e r e a l i t y  c o u l d be r e t a i n e d  history,  that  of b u s i n e s s m a n u s c r i p t s  contention,  social  the i n c r e a s i n g  of  of h i s t o r y .  invariably  criteria.  requirements  the comprehensive  t o combat  r e c o r d s was p r e d i c a t e d on t h e p r e m i s e  the  the appraisal  records  ever  virtually a l l important.  appraisal  1 3  In  criteria,  concluded:  Every despised and neglected document has possibilities. E v e r y o n e o f them may have t h e q u a l i t y , the c o n t e n t , that will make i t f o r some earnest scholar a f t e r t r u t h , i f not a R o s e t t a stone; i f not a h e a d s t o n e o f t h e c o r n e r , a t l e a s t p a r t of t h e m a t e r i a l which under a master's hand, becomes a complete structure. 1 f t  This  early  primarily  rationale  of e s t a b l i s h i n g  on t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s  of  appraisal  historians  was  criteria flawed.  based Too  86  often  scholars  failed  found most u s e f u l anything  which  to  and  clearly  dreaded  might  o u t l i n e what m a t e r i a l  the  thought  of  throwing  be p o t e n t i a l l y u s e f u l i n the  these reasons, as w e l l as the r a p i d h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c the  fields  of  exceedingly  both  business  d i f f i c u l t , i f not  appraisal  criteria  to  and  the  out  future.  For  changes  in  economic h i s t o r y , i t became  impossible,  curb  they  to formulate  increasing  adequate  bulk i n business  records. This had  inability  important  to e s t a b l i s h  ramifications  practical  as  records  p o s i t i o n of the a r c h i v i s t s i n the managers showed business how storage  space  Useless  records  inexpensive corporate "(1)  storage  litigation rather  of l i t i g a t i o n  semi-active  a  He  documentation. preserved,  in  little  importance focused  16  the  the  of  the  (2)  added that because fear of  the only  real external  federal  and  records  of  to  destroy influence  regulations  preservation business  material  of as  the  intangible  of  which  corporate  have  been has  historical  records managers i n c r e a s i n g l y  l e g a l requirements governing  records.  factors,  absence of an a r c h i v a l programme, there  consideration  upon the  of corporate  Where  that  s o c i e t y , and;  inducement  creation  save  observes  greater  the complex tangle of s t a t e and the  Records  m a t e r i a l moved to  Blouin  in modern U.S. 1 5  the  functional c r i t e r i a .  were i n f l u e n c e d by two  preserve records,  both  community.  and  Francis  decisions  perhaps been  than  controlled  been  and  state r e g u l a t i o n . "  has  managers usurped  business  utilitarian  facilities.  appraisal  and  on  criteria  to reduce the bulk problem and  were destroyed  the c l i m a t e  federal  was  based  appraisal  the  preservation  87  During records the  the  ascendency  a p p r a i s a l , there  position  of  seeking  develop a p p r a i s a l p o l i c i e s .  Peter  Mathias  involved  is  believes  were a v a i l a b l e t o  alternative total  an  a l l business  actual  records  1 7  Despite  based  historians  written with clients  of  the  the  assumption  business  primarily so  as  in  researchers  fail  to define  preservation  reminiscent years  remains  of t h a t which  earlier,  total  destruction,  the  not  collection  use  to  historians  offer limited  and  Articles  the  chief  information  to the  materials  should  b e y o n d what 1 8  period  when  appraisal  was n o t c o n s i d e r e d  based  practical,  s u f f e r f r o m t h e same w e a k n e s s e s  rather Cole  of  of t h a t  business  are  their  He  any c a s e : t h e  needs, h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c  c o n t i n u a l l y change t h e r e q u i r e m e n t of s c h o l a r s and t h e for  bulk  make  that  criteria  i t h a s r e m a i n e d . We s t i l l  the  trade.  earlier  upon h i s t o r i c a l  resources  e x e r c i s e of t h e i r  archives  the  historian  on t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n  r e t a i n e d from which t o w r i t e h i s t o r y . Just  in  that  r e a l i z a t i o n , h o w e v e r , many  greatest  development of a p p r a i s a l c r i t e r i a be  in  historian.  not  i s total  approached  primarily  in  do  archivist  this  have  m a t e r i a l w h i c h w o u l d be o f t h e economic  instance,  material,  constraints  f o r the  h i s t o r i a n s and a r c h i v i s t s business  For  even i f t h e space and  to selective preservation  preservation."  shift  t o use h i s t o r i c a l c r i t e r i a t o  essential. that,  option  criteria for  discernable  i t unusable t o the business  added t h a t , " a l l t h e preservation  legal  Most s c h o l a r s a c c e p t t h e n o t i o n  preserve  would render  employing  h a s been l i t t l e  those  selective preservation  of  vague.  complained  In  trends  criteria  a statement  about  as  very  some  thirty  D.L. L e w i s warned a r c h i v i s t s t o be v e r y  careful  88  about what they chose to throw o u t . Often a document, standing by i t s e l f , seems i r r e l e v a n t and u s e l e s s ; but f r e q u e n t l y , as most h i s t o r i a n s can a t t e s t , a s i n g l e p i e c e of paper, when p l a c e d beside other information can f i l l a gap as much as a s t r a y p i e c e of jigsaw puzzle enables one to complete a p a r t of the puzzle i t s e l f . 1 9  Lewis  also  pointed  out  i n t e g r a t i n g the h i s t o r i a n  whimsically  another  reason  for  i n the a p p r a i s a l p r o c e s s .  Most h i s t o r i a n s , n a t u r a l born s t r i n g savers, can not bear t o see p o t e n t i a l l y u s e f u l documents c a s t a s i d e , and many of them have e x t r a roomy a t t i c s . I t c o u l d be that, by asking a h i s t o r i a n f o r help, the a r c h i v i s t w i l l not - to paraphrase a f a m i l i a r expression - be l o s i n g an a c c e s s i o n but g a i n i n g a p r i v a t e a r c h i v e s . 2 0  Reducing  the d i s c u s s i o n of the a p p r a i s a l process t o such parody  has c o n t r i b u t e d l i t t l e for business The business  t o the f o r m u l a t i o n of  a  general  records.  tendency  to  stress h i s t o r i c a l c r i t e r i a  records has r e s u l t e d i n an emphasis on  in appraising  the f u n c t i o n a l  records which r e f l e c t s the end-product of b u r e a u c r a t i c Typically,  policy  a l i s t i n g of those  records which the h i s t o r i a n would  f i n d most i n t e r e s t i n g might i n c l u d e : Minute Books E x e c u t i v e Correspondence and Personal  Papers  L e g a l Records ( I n c o r p o r a t i o n s and Mergers) Operating  Records  Ledgers and J o u r n a l s Photographs, Films and S l i d e s Organizational Annual Reports Oral History Press C l i p p i n g s  Charts  activity.  89  Company P u b l i c a t i o n s Unfortunately, requirements  this has  view,  tended  based  to  on  general  f o r c o r p o r a t e a r c h i v e s . Consequently, should  depend  research  be too narrow and to p r o v i d e only  l i m i t e d a s s i s t a n c e i n developing a  criteria  external  appraisal  criteria  the formation of a p p r a i s a l  s o l e l y on n e i t h e r h i s t o r i c a l needs nor  l e g a l d i c t a t e s but r a t h e r move toward the development of a comprehensive Francis  outlook. Blouin  i s one  of the f i r s t a r c h i v i s t s to  the need to transcend the t r a d i t i o n a l approaches on  the  focused  types of records which should be preserved and  consider  should  take  A l f r e d Chandler's the  framework w i t h i n  p l a c e . In a 1979  upon both the p r o d u c t i o n  to t h e i r  which  the  appraisal  a r t i c l e , Blouin  reviewed  The V i s i b l e Hand and c o n s i d e r e d the impact  r i s e of the v e r t i c a l l y - i n t e g r a t e d  proposed  identify  which  i n s t e a d a methodological process  more  looking  and  use  of  i n d u s t r y i n North business  of  America  records.  2 1  c l o s e l y at the f u n c t i o n of records as a  He  guide  appraisal.  In order to understand the c h a r a c t e r of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l super-structures that have evolved into large corporate and government b u r e a u c r a c i e s , the f u n c t i o n s served by records w i l l become as important as the d e s c r i p t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n i n the records t h e m s e l v e s . 22  Blouin  moves  us  away  from  the  appraisal  of  the  themselves and c o n s i d e r e d i n s t e a d what they r e v e a l e d structure  of  the  corporation  and  records  about  the decision-making  the  process  therein. In a s i m i l a r  fashion,  Frank  Burke,  in  a  discussion  a r c h i v a l theory argues that a r c h i v i s t s ought to look beyond capturing  information  about  what  happened  and  of just  endeavour to  90  acquire  records for understanding why organizations function in  the way they  do.  2 3  By  concentrating  on  the  material  which  accurately represents the decision-making process a r c h i v i s t s are best on  able the  to minimize the impact of "our i n t e r p r e t i v e a c t i o n s "  needs  of  future  researchers. "  In  2  advocating  the  a r c h i v i s t ' s increasing involvement in the study of the d e c i s i o n making  process  in  a  corporate  body,  he poses the f o l l o w i n g  questions and observations. At what l e v e l s are decisions r e a l l y made; and by what process? How does that process a f f e c t what records w i l l be kept to document the p o l i c y development of the corporate body? Are we so imbued with the a r c h i v a l standard of keeping the records of the board of t r u s t e e s , the p r e s i d e n t , the executive s e c r e t a r y , and the d i v i s i o n a l o f f i c e s , that we are r e t a i n i n g the chaff while throwing out the wheat? There are some studies taking place among management o r g a n i z a t i o n s , one hears, that look into such problems; but do not a r c h i v i s t s even r e a l i z e that the problems are a l s o t h e i r s , i f they are to f u l f i l l an o b l i g a t i o n to the future to r e t a i n records representing a reasonably exact f a c s i m i l e of today's s o c i e t y . 2 5  Michael Lutzker also stresses that the the  effective  appraisal  tremendous quantity of records being created requires "some  general framework of a n a l y s i s , that can be judgment."  26  He  proposed  that  used  to  guide  in  understanding  the  dynamics  hierarchy w i t h i n which the c r e a t i o n of considering  Weber's  emphasis  on  of the  the  the  assist  organizational  record  occurs.  In  rational  aspects  of  bureaucracy, i n c l u d i n g s t r u c t u r e , r u l e s and precedents, stressed  our  a r c h i v i s t s u t i l i z e Max Weber's  c l a s s i c a l a n a l y s i s of bureaucratic structure in order to them  of  Lutzker  the need to understand the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e processes as  e s s e n t i a l in assessing the importance of records produced within particular organizations.  27  This cognisance and understanding of  the bureaucratic operations and f u n c t i o n s , in t u r n ,  provides  a  91  clearer an  i n s i g h t i n t o the  i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n the I n what has  the  appraisal,  s e t of  documentary records appraisal  business records  comprehensive  study  the  issue.  These  s t r u c t u r e o f modern  firms;  "(1)  (2)  u n d e r s t a n d i n g of  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p between s t r u c t u r e  generated;  an  appreciation  records  historical and,  of  the  to  an 2  As  (3)  research;  (5)  process."  u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the  with  include, an  (4)  s t r u c t u r e of t h e  understanding same way  firms are  understand  records  as  breadth  of  of i n t e r e s t s ;  an  how  2 9  to  be  record  In  more  intellectual  how  he  This  further  other  aware of the  fundamental  business firms.  studies  structural  the  records  structure  regard, on  on  approach,  individual  corporation,  could  literature  which  aid  would  Blouin  two  suggested  p u b l i s h case s t u d i e s based 3 0  g e n e r a t e d by  is  knowledge  uses A l f r e d C h a n d l e r ' s model of  that  this  indepth  of  in  influenced  order  actual focused then others  the to  structure  the  records  encouraged a r c h i v i s t s to  separate that  the  Also  r e l a t i o n s h i p between generated  In  modern  models.  keeping a f f e c t e d o r g a n i z a t i o n a l  involved  microapproach,  p r o p o s e , an  corporation,  s t r u c t u r e and  conversely,  produced.  Lutzker  as B l o u i n  ought  bureaucratic  records.  appraisal  necessary to develop  archivists  become  of  individual organization  the  vertically-integrated  and,  the  and  8  B l o u i n , B u r k e and  much t h e  of  a r e v i v a l of a c o a l i t i o n  appreciation  of  thus f a r , B l o u i n o u t l i n e s a  f i v e elements necessary to deal an  plays  process.  p e r h a p s b e e n t h e most of  p r o d u c e d and  levels.  archivists  the  develop in  the  undertake  appraisals on  In  of  business  records an  developing  and  of  an  extensive appraisal  92  criteria.  The  become b e t t e r record  second,  or macroapproach, encourages  acquainted with  keeping  the c u r r e n t environment  ( f o r example,  s t u d y of c u r r e n t r e t e n t i o n  statutory  practices).  to  appraisal  his  list  process.  historiographic guiding  concept  source  of  of  It  trends  as  employed  ways  the  of  within  this  reflect  this  archivists  knowledge  revival  interest  of  of  the  to  historical  to  develop  an  aware  of  be  so much as  r a t h e r as a  might  be  have  of  the  include  of  a s s e s s the p o s i t i o n  not  those  individual  term ideas  d a t a may a  be  broad company  position  of  in regional  or  of  the  company  records  must have a s e n s e  exploited  new  individual the  sole  long  Also,  i t s role  to i d e n t i f y  the  secondary  yield  company.  place  knowledge of t h e  important  of c o a l i t i o n  but  in history  the a r c h i v i s t  i n the a p p r a i s a l  Another  the  the  not  i n d u s t r y or perhaps  c o n t e x t and  role,  which t r a n s c e n d s past  helps  d e v e l o p m e n t . To  larger  to  m a t e r i a l may  framework w h i c h m i g h t  i n the  even n a t i o n a l  needs  history  a larger  company  trends  what  broader  of  which the a r c h i v e s ' h i s t o r i c a l  t o s e r v e the  knowledge within  in  necessary  research,  to  and  3 1  important  of r e c o r d s a p p r a i s a l ,  guidance  the  is in  v a l u e . Knowledge of new about  elements  to  affecting  requirements  B l o u i n a d d e d an a p p r e c i a t i o n of t h e b r e a d t h research  archivists  of  firm.  available  which history In  the  historical  process.  element interests  in  Blouin's  formula  is  the  w h i c h e x i s t e d a t t h e h e i g h t of  the B u s i n e s s H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .  In order to ensure appraisal d e c i s i o n s m i n d f u l of h i s t o r y i n the l o n g run, rather than of legal and administrative concerns in the s h o r t run, a s t r o n g coalition will have to again emerge....For the appraisal of the c o r p o r a t e r e c o r d , such a c o a l i t i o n w i l l have t o be i d e n t i f i e d and s t r e n g t h e n e d in order  93  to provide the environment necessary for the u n d e r t a k i n g of m a j o r s t u d i e s o f corporate structures and r e c o r d s . 3 2  Blouin  reasoned  h i s t o r i a n s and 1920s  would  that  archivists be  Unfortunately,  might  experience  of the  an  that  involving  degree  be  coalition which  of  of  difficult  ill-fated  executives,  emerged  t o p r o v i d e the proper  concepts  this  desirable,  strong  such as  necessary  w h i c h t o impose new  Finally,  a  in  climate within  the a p p r a i s a l of  cooperation,  the  records.  although  highly  t o a c h i e v e as w i t n e s s e d  B u s i n e s s A r c h i v e s C o u n c i l of  by  the  Canada.  B l o u i n s t r e s s e d t h e n e e d t o r e c o g n i z e a p p r a i s a l as  intellectual  issue.  Appraisal requires well-researched frameworks of a n a l y s i s and must i n c l u d e an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of p r o c e s s , i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s , m o d e l s o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , and the nature and f u n c t i o n s of records i n a modern society. I t poses intellectual questions because appraisal problems r e q u i r e a n a l y s i s on a l a r g e and complex s c a l e . 3  3  J u s t as t h e s t r u c t u r e of b u s i n e s s e s t o o have  the  developed  must r e f l e c t  The  records  they this  a r c h i v i s t a s he  become more  produce.  Any  complex  appraisal  is  is called  extremly  important  upon t o d e t e r m i n e  percentage  of the mountains of c o r p o r a t e d o c u m e n t a t i o n  is  permanent  worth  corporate more  complex.  the standard preserved includes  preservation.  s t r u c t u r e s has  and  criteria  growing  the process  i t i s necessary  corporate  records  to  to  of  the  organizational  t h e p r o d u c t i o n of r e c o r d s and  the  what s m a l l produced  complexity of  of  appraisal  t o move away f r o m which  should  t o i m p l e m e n t a more c o m p r e h e n s i v e a p p r o a c h  knowledge  relationship  of  The  a l s o rendered  Consequently,  checklist  so  process.  q u e s t i o n of a p p r a i s a l  business  has  structure, an  be  which its  understanding  94  of h i s t o r y .  I n t h i s t a s k , t h e a r c h i v i s t m i g h t b e n e f i t by  i n p u t f r o m b o t h c o r p o r a t e e m p l o y e e s and former  experienced  r e c o r d s and the  i n t h e c u r r e n t use  the l a t t e r  f u n c t i o n s which,  programme c a n insights  outside researchers;  and  significance  knowledgable about the long-term  documents. T h i s t r a n s i t i o n  multifarious  i s extremely  as e a r l i e r  important  indicated,  by B u r k e , L u t z k e r and  appraisal  criteria.  capturing  significant  that  This  is  an  in  i n f o r m a t i o n becomes more " f l u i d "  record less The  other  perplexing  must be p r e p a r e d  and  access  be  government-funded  problem  granted  and  presents  3  with  on  which  the East  f l o w of the  with  the  In  archivist  access  to  f a c t , one  business particular  e n s u r e t h e s a f e t y of t h e i r  I n d i a Company a d o p t e d t h e  for  unlike  at  liberty  i s not  the y e a r s has  scrutiny.  archival  g r o w t h of p r i v a t e  the p r e v a i l i n g  tendency  been t o c l o s e  3 5  records  is  example can  t o the- e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . C o n c e r n e d a b o u t t h e and  in  of  the  problems,  the taxpayer  b u s i n e s s community over  Restricted  manage  nature  what b a s i s s h o u l d  Generally speaking,  records to p u b l i c  phenomenon.  can  effective  associated  particular  institutions,  t o demand a c c e s s . "  corporate  of  the  t o d e a l w i t h i s t h e q u e s t i o n o f a c c e s s . To whom  corporate archives  the  upon  when t h e  the  the  archival  consideration  an age  m a t e r i a l be made a v a i l a b l e t o r e s e a r c h e r s ? The  within  of  rigid.  d e v e l o p m e n t o f b u s i n e s s a r c h i v e s and  should  value  Blouin, archivists  important  information  the  the  a p p l y a more f l e x i b l e a p p r o a c h t o t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t  the  of  given  p r o v i d e t o the c o r p o r a t i o n . In b u i l d i n g  provided  seeking  not be  need  a  new  t r a c e d back to  better  records, the d i r e c t o r s  following policy,  whereby:  of  95  . . . t h e s a f e c u s t o d y o f r e c o r d s became a p r i m a r y duty of t h e s e n i o r m o s t o f f i c i a l s o f e v e r y d e p a r t m e n t o f t h e company; (b) o n l y t h e members o f t h e d i f f e r e n t b o a r d s and their s e c r e t a r i e s concerned had access to departmental records; (c) a u t h e n t i c a t e d c o p i e s of r e c o r d s c o u l d n o t be h a d by any o f f i c i a l o f l e s s rank than the president of each board, and such c o p i e s c o u l d be t a k e n away o n l y f o r t h e o f f i c i a l u s e o f t h e company i n I n d i a o r a b r o a d ; (d) no r e c o r d s o r c o p i e s o f r e c o r d s c o u l d t h e r e a f t e r be t a k e n away, s o l d or otherwise disposed of from the departmental archives... 3 6  T h i s e a r l y programme, w h i c h l i m i t e d a c c e s s even  to  company  f i n e s t continuous In  personnel,  ultimately  s e r i e s of h i s t o r i c a l  to corporate resulted  records  i n the world.  restrict  access  wholesale  r e s t r i c t i o n s on c o r p o r a t e m a t e r i a l i s  opinion  of  business  files...."  3 7  sought  to  i t s r e c o r d s . One o f t h e m a j o r r e a s o n s f o r  executives  This s e n s i t i v i t y ,  the  persistent  that "outsiders are l i k e l y  f i n d o u t v a l u a b l e t r a d e s e c r e t s o r company old  i n one o f t h e  much t h e same way, modern b u s i n e s s h a s o f t e n to  records  'skeletons'  in  to the  which g e n e r a l l y " s p r i n g s from  f e a r s of both c o m p e t i t i v e and p e r s o n a l e x p o s u r e , "  3 8  i s v e r y much  a c a r r y o v e r from the muckraking e r a . In whom  he  numerous s i t u a t i o n s , owes  corporate  allegience  employer.  He  -  may  s i g n s h i s p a y c h e c k he s h o u l d material  for  fear  t h e b u s i n e s s a r c h i v i s t must a s k t o the  conclude restrict  that  support  of  the  archival  conservative attitude the  safe."  3 9  t h e use of  pose a d i r e c t  purposely  harmful  the  However, t o a d o p t s u c h a records  t h e q u e s t i o n o f d e v i s i n g an  p o l i c y h a s i n e f f e c t been a v o i d e d ,  to  or  threat t o the continued  i s "tantamount t o l o c k i n g the  I n such c a s e s ,  or h i s  a l l corporate  might  potentially  programme.  public  t h a t b e c a u s e t h e company  researchers  i n a d v e r t e n t l y uncover i n f o r m a t i o n company a n d , c o n s e q u e n t l y ,  researching  in  access  and t h e v a l u e of r e s e a r c h  in  96  the  records  of  the  company and society a l i k e i s consequently  forsaken. Such an a t t i t u d e r a i s e s a number of  important  issues  as i n d i c a t e d by Ann VanCamp. The s i t u a t i o n can lead to innumerable problems, and c r i t i c i s m s from outside researchers can often result in one-sided negative r e p o r t i n g . The a r c h i v i s t i s in the unenviable p o s i t i o n of t r y i n g to d i s c e r n "good" scholars from " b a d , " ones. An even greater problem can come from w i t h i n the company when the a r c h i v i s t i s without g u i d e l i n e s or precedents in deciding whether or not an employee from one department can use the records from another department." 0  The l a t t e r point r a i s e s another i n t e r e s t i n g i s s u e . The  question  of access i s not r e s t r i c t e d to outside researchers but i s also a matter o f . i n t e r n a l corporate p o l i c y . One  must  consider whether the basic premise of l i m i t e d or  non-existent access p o l i c i e s a c t u a l l y serve the of  the  organization.  Terry  Eastwood  has  best  interests  argued that such a  p o l i c y a c t u a l l y has the opposite e f f e c t in that i t  "only  fuels  suspicion between business and researchers [and] because of t h i s suspicion  the  business  community's  recognized as i t should b e . " *  1  impact  on society i s not  In numerous cases, companies have  opted to destroy s e n s i t i v e records rather than r i s k having exposed  them  to p u b l i c s c r u t i n y and perhaps g i v i n g r i s e to a v a r i e t y  of l e g a l entanglements or at l e a s t i n j u r i n g  the  reputation  of  the company. Eastwood concluded h i s remarks by arguing that "the irresponsible  destruction  of  records  is  likely  harmful than possession of r e v e a l i n g documents might addressing  to  be more  be."*  2  In  the reluctance of companies to grant access for fear  of exposing past mistakes, Douglas  Bakken  made  the  following  observations. As far as mistakes and t h e i r feared d i s c l o s u r e i s conserned, h i s t o r y frequently evidences that what come  97  t o be c a l l e d " m i s t a k e s " a r e d e c i s i o n s made i n t e r m s o f the b e s t d a t a a v a i l a b l e a t t h e t i m e , and o n l y from t h e s t a n d p o i n t o f h i n d s i g h t c a n t h e y be c a l l e d " m i s t a k e s " . Further, there is little doubt i n my m i n d that American business has suffered more public m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g and m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a s a r e s u l t o f a p u b l i c i t y - m o t i v a t e d appearance of i n f a l l i b i l i t y than it could ever s u f f e r as a r e s u l t of p u b l i c awareness of honest m i s t a k e s . * 3  It  seems c l e a r ,  then, that a  strict  policy  of  no  access  to  outsiders i s ultimately short-sighted. Far the  from c o n s t i t u t i n g a p o t e n t i a l  liability  t o t h e company,  u s e o f c o r p o r a t e r e c o r d s by o u t s i d e r e s e a r c h e r s m i g h t  unexpected, p o s t i v e returns f o r the f i r m . Business component  of  society.  misconstrued  its  demonstrate  through  matter  It  i s , however,  should  often  preferable  o f a company's a c t i v i t i e s  than  to  open t o c o n j e c t u r e . As e a r l y a s 1938, R a l p h  businessmen  vital  to  an h o n e s t p r e s e r v a t i o n o f d o c u m e n t a t i o n t h e  that r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i r personal  history  is a  I t s opponents have, i n ignorance,  activities.  true circumstances  yield  disposition  of business.'""  1  In  rationalizing  the  Hower a r g u e d  toward  " a i d and encourage i m p a r t i a l  leave  history,  research  i n the  his position,  Hower  offered this explanation. Otherwise an a c c u r a t e account of b u s i n e s s h i s t o r y c a n n o t be w r i t t e n , a n d i n i t s p l a c e t h e r e w i l l be a n incomplete a n d i n a c c u r a t e s t o r y w h i c h w i l l do more harm t h a n g o o d . Much o f t h e r e c e n t hostility towards private e n t e r p r i s e has a r i s e n because t h e p u b l i c has been t o l d t h e m i s t a k e s a n d m i s d e e d s o f b u s i n e s s , a n d t h e r e h a s been no one t o s u p p l y c o r r e c t i v e d a t a on t h e other side. The p u b l i c i t y m a t e r i a l prepared by b u s i n e s s f a i l s t o h e l p because i t i s o b v i o u s l y biased and f r e q u e n t l y i n a c c u r a t e . The p u b l i c must h a v e t h e f a c t s as they appear t o independent s c h o l a r s , and t h a t means t h a t b u s i n e s s , i n i t s own s e l f i s h i n t e r e s t , must make i t s r e c o r d s a v a i l a b l e f o r r e s e a r c h . " 5  If corporate constitute  executives a  form  of  truly  believe  corporate c i t i z e n  that  their  living  companies  up t o s o c i e t a l  98  expectations, they have everything to gain and from  presenting  an  with  to  lose  accurate p i c t u r e of themselves to s o c i e t y .  L i k e w i s e , society gains by being dialogue  little  able  to  engage  in  informed  a f u l l understanding of the context which shaped  modern business. To accomplish t h i s goal the a r c h i v i s t , in conjunction company  executives,  must  develop  with  a c l e a r l y defined programme  governing access to a r c h i v a l m a t e r i a l . Ann VanCamp has suggested that such a p o l i c y should . . . c l e a r l y o u t l i n e a u t h o r i t y and procedures for governing access to records, a p o l i c y that is equitable for a l l concerned u s e r s , and one that protects the archives while at the same time making the company comfortable about a r c h i v e s . And most of a l l the p o l i c y should be easy to a d m i n i s t e r . * 6  In  adopting  a  c l e a r l y defined access p o l i c y i t i s p o s s i b l e to  provide access while company  feels  restricting  might  be  use  potentially  of  material  damaging.  which  This  achieved in three d i s t i n c t ways - "by c o n t r o l l i n g who access  to  the  records,  by  controlling  what  the  information  obtained  from  can can  or  gain  the  otherwise  records."*  i s o l a t i n g and r e s t r i c t i n g that m a t e r i a l which the company would  be  records may be  accessed, and by c o n t r o l l i n g the a b i l i t y to quote publicize  the  7  By  feels  be damaging, the a r c h i v i s t may thus be able to open other  materials for the use of researchers. An important component of any access  policy  must  be  the  i n c l u s i o n of information about closed or r e s t r i c t e d m a t e r i a l . To be  most  effective  restrictions, determining  time  it  must  limits  restrictions  administrative authority."*  contain on  and 8  "clear  restrictions, a  statement  For i n s t a n c e , i f  descriptions  of  processes  for  regarding l i n e s of the  restrictions  99 are e s t a b l i s h e d by the c r e a t i n g departments in c o n s u l t a t i o n with the  a r c h i v i s t , then the p o l i c y ought to r e f l e c t t h i s . It  a l s o i n d i c a t e the avenues for appeal to seek s p e c i a l to  use  the  restricted  necessary so arbitrary  that  or  the  material. access  of  permission  This methodical approach i s  policy  is  not  viewed  as  an  random a p p l i c a t i o n of unneccesary r e s t r i c t i o n s on  a r c h i v a l m a t e r i a l s . A l s o , those because  should  sensitive  designated  nature,  as  closed  should  be  periodically  reviewed to determine i f the o r i g i n a l concerns  of  the  officials  their  records  might have been mitigated by time. If a f t e r  t h i s m a t e r i a l , the a r c h i v i s t f e e l s i t  no  longer  company reviewing  needs  to  be  r e s t r i c t e d , he should approach the corporate executives with h i s recommendations and then seek w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . As  a  precaution  09  to protect the reputation of the company  the a r c h i v i s t might consider the imposition of some r e s t r i c t i o n s on  the  researchers  information pointed  collected  out  information  right  that can  from  "terms be  to  quote  the and  or  otherwise  archives. conditions  can  be  of  usage  stipulations  of  the  w r i t t e n into a 'request for access' which,  easily prosecuted."  50  contract  in  access  agreements  whose  Although there i s some  question as to how " e a s i l y " the researcher might be such  the  Richard P o l l a y has  when signed by the user and the f i r m , becomes a violation  use  are  prosecuted,  l i k e l y to deter  misuse of the m a t e r i a l gathered from the a r c h i v e s . The a r c h i v i s t may a l s o request that he be prior  to  publication  allowed  to  preview  any  material  to ensure that the f a c t s are correct and  that the a c t i o n s of the company have not been misrepresented. In seeking to provide access to h i s a r c h i v a l h o l d i n g s ,  the  100  archivist  should  also  remain  cognizant  of the wishes of the  c r e a t i n g departments w i t h i n the company as the formulation of sound  access p o l i c y w i l l have important r a m i f i c a t i o n s for other  a r c h i v a l f u n c t i o n s . P r i n c i p a l among these would the  a  success  be  determining  of the a r c h i v a l a c q u i s i t i o n programme. Edie Hedlin  has i n d i c a t e d that " i n order to acquire those holdings that potentially  the  most u s e f u l , namely those r e f l e c t i n g d e c i s i o n -  making processes, the a r c h i v i s t must have the t r u s t officials."  cooperative  and  access  policy  company  may feel  upon  the  formulation  of  a  t r u s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between the archives and  the rest of the company. Those  i f they  of  To accomplish t h i s , the a r c h i v i s t should consider  5 1  the impact of h i s  archives  are  sending  their  records  to  the  be hesitant to include the most s e n s i t i v e records that  too  liberal  an  access  policy  has  been  implemented. This  question of access i s not unique to business archives  as v i r t u a l l y a l l r e p o s i t o r i e s contain some r e s t r i c t e d However,  the  because as whatever  a  issue private  rules  is  more  pronounced in corporate archives  archives  governing  material.  they  access  are they  free  to  deem  establish  appropriate.  Consequently, the corporate a r c h i v i s t might f i n d himself something  of  a  dilemma  in formulating a sound access p o l i c y .  I d e a l l y , a r c h i v i s t s should attempt to policy  establish  liberal  also  requires  that  the  archivists  outside  a  The  quest  to  research.  have a complete and  comprehensive understanding of the m a t e r i a l placed care.  as  as p o s s i b l e . To do so, they must convince businessmen of  the value of and prestige to be derived from This  facing  under  their  promote access to outside users must not,  101  however, be pursued at the expense of the company's In  reputation.  considering the broader i m p l i c a t i o n s , one might suggest  i f companies suffer archival  adverse  programme,  publicity  similiar  after  projects  that  establishing  proposed  in  an  other  companies would c e r t a i n l y be jeopardized. In the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , fundamental  goals  foremost,  is  the  business  records  of  the  the  archivist  corporate  preservation primarily  of for  the the  must  archives.  consider  the  First,  and  permanently internal  valuable  use  of  the  c o r p o r a t i o n . It therefore follows that i f the a r c h i v i s t f a i l s to convince the company of the b e n e f i t s to be derived from adopting a l i b e r a l access p o l i c y , the point should not be  pressed  to  a  c o n f r o n t a t i o n . In her approach to the problem, Edie Hedlin takes a long-term view. There are higher p r i o r i t i e s that should concern the business a r c h i v i s t . He must proceed on the premise that the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , accession and preservation of h i s t o r i c a l l y valuable material now i s of greater importance than the a v a i l a b l i t y of any given set of m a t e r i a l to any given i n d i v i d u a l . It i s better to have a closed company archives now, than to have no archives at a l l . 5 2  Business a r c h i v i s t s should endeavour access  to  to  promote  firm's  must  also  much  corporate information without knowingly i n j u r i n g the  company's image or allowing use of m a t e r i a l which the  as  might  affect  competitive p o s i t i o n in the marketplace. A r c h i v i s t s maintain  researchers  lines  of  communications  with  outside  in order to monitor changing research i n t e r e s t s and  to keep that community informed as to the conditions under which the  archival  relationship  programmes  operate.  Such  an  open  and  frank  might help to d i s s i p a t e some of the mistrust which  102  has grown up between business and researchers as Marcel Caya has observed. Academic historians have always maintained a suspicious a t t i t u d e toward i n s t i t u t i o n a l archives of any type. Because they e i t h e r consider them a t o o l of administration or refuse to acknowledge t h e i r p o t e n t i a l for h i s t o r i c a l research, they have not, as a general r u l e , a c t i v e l y lobbied for t h e i r establishment as a bona fide department of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . 5 3  Consequently, a r c h i v i s t s should  benefit  from  engaging  in  an  expanded dialogue with those i n t e r e s t e d in u t i l i z i n g the records of  business.  This  would  include  convincing researchers that  e s t a b l i s h i n g archives based p r i m a r i l y on a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c r i t e r i a would also serve in t h e i r best i n t e r e s t s in the long run. At the same time, a r c h i v i s t s must work to educate executives  as  business  to the b e n e f i t s a r i s i n g from providing access to  corporate records. Companies should not attempt to "gloss or  ignore  past  indiscretions  over"  as overlooked or misrepresented  f a c t s have a way of coming to the p u b l i c ' s a t t e n t i o n and h i s t o r y provides an opportunity to portray them access  to  business  understanding of the  records vital  development  of s o c i e t y . It  trepidation  about  stresses,  promotes  role  a  played  Increasing  greater  by  sense  of  in  the  business  i s necessary to overcome t r a d i t i o n a l  negative  "business  accurately.  publicity  leaders  must  for,  accept  as  David  Finn  the fact that f r e e ,  vigorous, c o n s t r u c t i v e c r i t i s m helps improve the course of human e n t e r p r i s e . " " Studies  might  provide  to  a  greater  understanding of the i n t e r n a l operation of the company.  Placing  5  useful  administrative  by  outside tools  to  researchers contribute  past experience within a broader context would c e r t a i n l y promote an enhanced appreciation of present c o n d i t i o n s .  103  NOTES T.R. Schellenberg, The Management of Archives (New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965), p. 29. 1  F r a n c i s B l o u i n , "A New Perspective on the A p p r a i s a l of Business Records: A Review," American A r c h i v i s t 42 (1979), p. 315. 2  Alfred Chandler, The V i s i b l e Hand: The Management Revolution in American Business (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1977). 3  "For an e x c e l l e n t d i s c u s s i o n of the changes in the c l e r i c a l profession and the growing r o l e of the o f f i c e in Canadian business see Graham S. Lowe, "The Administrative Revolution in the Canadian O f f i c e : An Overview". Lowe argues that as the office became the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e centre of the economy, unsystematic, ad hoc o f f i c e procedures gave way to comprehensive a d m i n i s t r a t i v e systems designed to promote an orderly flow of information (p. 128). See a l s o James W. Oberly, "The Information Revolution in Historical P e r s p e c t i v e , " Records Management Quarterly 16 (1982). Margaret Cross Norton, Norton On A r c h i v e s , e d . , Thorton W. M i t c h e l l (Chicago: SAA, 1975), pp. 7 1 - 2 . 5  Rae Leaper, "Records Centers: What's in the Box," Management Quarterly 18 ( A p r i l 1984), p. 312. 6  7  Records  B l o u i n , "A New P e r s p e c t i v e , " p. 312.  Ralph M. Hower, "The Preservation of Business Records," B u l l e t i n of the Business H i s t o r i c a l Society 11 (1937). 8  9  Ibid.,  p. 43.  A r t h u r H. Cole, "The Accumulated Development of Unsolved Problems," Journal of Economic History 5 (1945), p. 44. 10  1 1  Ibid.,  1 2  Ibid.  p. 57.  J.G. de Roulhac, "On the Importance of Unimportant Documents," The L i b r a r y Quarterly 12 (1942), p. 518. 1 3  "Ibid. F r a n c i s B l o u i n , "An Agenda for the A p p r a i s a l of Business Records," in A r c h i v a l Choices: Managing the H i s t o r i c a l Record in An Age of Abundance, ed. Nancy E. Peace (Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company, 1 984), p. 69. 15  1 6  Ibid.,  p. 70.  104 " P e t e r Mathias, "What Do We Want? What Do We Need? A Business H i s t o r i a n Speaks to Business A r c h i v i s t s , " Business Archives 42 (November 1976), p. 8. ^ R e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h i s p o s i t i o n from the enclosed bibliography i n c l u d e ; Jack K i n g , . " C o l l e c t i n g Business Records," (1964); D. L. Lewis, " A p p r a i s a l C r i t e r i a for Retention and Disposal of Business Records," (1969); W.H. Chaloner, "Business Records as a Source of Economic H i s t o r y , " (1948/49); Robert L o v e t t , "The Appraisal of Older Business Records," (1952). D.L. Lewis, " A p p r a i s a l C r i t e r i a for Retention and Disposal of Business Records," American A r c h i v i s t 32 (1969), p. 22. 1 9  2 0  Ibid.,  p. 23.  2 1  B l o u i n , "A New P e r s p e c t i v e " .  2 2  Ibid.,  p. 319.  F r a n k Burke, "The Future Course of A r c h i v a l Theory in the United S t a t e s , " AA 44 (1981), p. 43. 23  2 f t  Ibid.,  p. 42.  2 5  Ibid.,  p. 43.  M i c h a e l A. L u t z k e r , "Max Weber and the A n a l y s i s of Modern Bureaucratic Organization: Notes Towards a Theory of A p p r a i s a l , " American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), p. 119. 26  2 7  Ibid.,  p. 124.  Blouin, "An Records," p. 71. 2 8  Agenda  2 9  Ibid.,  3 0  Ibid.  3 1  Ibid.  3 2  Ibid.,  pp. 75-76.  3 3  Ibid.,  p. 76.  for  the  Appraisal  of  Business  p. 73.  *Marion Orgain, " S t a r t i n g a Company Management Quarterly 8 (1974), p. 10. 3  Archives,"  Records  Richmond D. W i l l i a m s , "Business Archives in the United States," in Papers of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Business H i s t o r y Conference," '. ed. Paul Uselding (Urbana: U n i v e r i s t y of I l l i n o i s P r e s s , 1979), p. 41. 35  3 6  M.L.  Ahulwalia,  "A  Significant  Order  on  Records  105  Management," American A r c h i v i s t 24 (1961), p. 87. Maynard Britchford, "The Relationship of Records Management to A c t i v i t i e s in the F i e l d of H i s t o r y , " Business History Review 46 (1972), p. 228. 37  R i c h a r d M. P o l l a y , "Maintaining Archives for the History of A d v e r t i s i n g , " Special L i b r a r i e s 69 (1978), p. 153. 38  3 9  Ibid.,  p. 152.  "°Ann VanCamp, "Access P o l i c i e s American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982), 296.  for  Corporate  " Betsy Matthews, "Rescuing Records A r c h i v e s , " En Route (May 1983), p. 68. 1  to  Make  Archives," Corporate  " Ibid. 2  " Douglas A" Bakken, "Archives Brewer' s Digest (May 1983), p. 40. 3  ""Hower,  and  American  Business,"  "The Preservation of Business Records," p. 40.  " Ibid. 5  " VanCamp, "Access P o l i c i e s , " p. 298. 6  " ' P o l l a y , "Maintaining A r c h i v e s , " p. 152. " VanCamp, p. 297. 8  " Karen White, " E s t a b l i s h i n g A Business A r c h i v e s , " Management Quarterly 15 (1981), p. 16. 9  5 0  P o l l a y , p. 153.  E d i e H e d l i n , "Access: The Company Georgia Archive 7 (Spring 1979), p. 6. 51  5 2  Records  vs  The  Scholar,"  Ibid.  M a r c e l Caya, "Why Worry About the Present When the Past i s Our B u s i n e s s ! ? , " (Paper presented at the Business History Conference, Trent U n i v e r s i t y , 25 May 1984), p. 13. 53  "David F i n n , "The P r i c e of Corporate V a n i t y , " in Douglas N. Dickson (ed) Business and I t s P u b l i c s (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 198.4) , p. 104. 5  106  CHAPTER VI  FUTURE PROSPECTS  While the archives  prospects  have  for  improved  the  establishment  somewhat  in  recent  of years,  development w i l l depend on two f a c t o r s . The f i r s t , the  most  important,  involves  the  success  business future  and  of  by  far  a r c h i v i s t s in  persuading corporate executives of the importance and u t i l i t y establishing demonstrate  in-house  programmes.  An  archives  which  can  i n n o v a t i v e , t a n g i b l e c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the operation  of a company increases the prospects for second  of  survival.  The  factor i s the government's recognition of the v i t a l  role  played by business in the shaping willingness  to  participate  in  of  future  modern  ensuring  society  the  and  its  preservation of  corporate documentation. Governmental p a r t i c i p a t i o n  could  take  the form of tax incentives and other inducements, or l e g i s l a t i o n which  would  require the r e t e n t i o n of a r c h i v a l business records  by law. Under the p r e v a i l i n g turn  over  their  a r c h i v e s . This not incurred  in  conditions,  historical only  records  relieves  preserving  the  businesses to  p u b l i c or  company  of  the  records  costs  to  a  archives "can deduct 100% of the assessed value from  i t s f e d e r a l income tax over a l i m i t e d period of two about  university  these records but can also prove to be  quite l u c r a t i v e . A Canadian company donating i t s government  occasionally  years,  and  20% of the value i f i t donates the c o l l e c t i o n to another  recognized i n s t i t u t i o n . "  1  This paper stressed e a r l i e r ,  however,  107 v  that  any attempt to s y s t e m a t i c a l l y c o l l e c t corporate records in  e x i s t i n g public or p r i v a t e i n s t i t u t i o n s i s the  space  not  feasible  given  and s t a f f l i m i t a t i o n s c u r r e n t l y confronting a r c h i v a l  r e p o s i t o r i e s . Unfortunately,  government taxation p o l i c y has  not  been extended to include in-house a r c h i v a l programmes. In  suggesting  that  government  participation  preservation of business records in t h i s country i s one  need  look  the  corporations.  inadequate,  the Public Archives of Canada exerts no  records  In  produced  treating  these  by  this  country's  organizations  businesses, the i n i t i a t i v e to seek out advice and the  the  no further than the treatment accorded to crown  corporations. Currently, c o n t r o l over  in  preservation  of  their  as  crown private  guidance  for  records has remained on a s t r i c t l y  voluntary b a s i s . John H. Archer, in ~ assessing  this  situation  in 1972, questioned the wisdom of such an approach. . . . o n e wonders whether voluntary arrangements with federal crown or p u b l i c corporations are good enough. Crown corporations are every whit as ' p u b l i c ' as are the records of a department of government. Should the safekeeping of these records, then, depend upon the i n t e r e s t envinced by executive o f f i c e r s and the t a c t f u l diplomacy of the Dominion A r c h i v i s t ? If there i s any v a l i d i t y to the p r o p o s i t i o n that a p r i v a t e business making i t s ' l i v i n g ' in Canada owes to i t s host the safekeeping of i t s records for scholarly research, then surely there i s the strongest case for ensuring that the p u b l i c records of p u b l i c or crown corporations come under adequate c o n t r o l s to prevent wanton d e s t r u c t i o n . 2  The government, although expressing some preservation existing  of  for  the  business records, has thus far only encouraged  companies  repositories.  concern  to  However,  for e s t a b l i s h i n g in-house  deposit there  their  records  in  existing  has been l i t t l e p a r a l l e l support  programmes.  Believing  that  records  108  should Group  remain on  with  Canadian  government,  their  c r e a t i n g agencies, the Consultative  Archives  working  (1980)  through  the  recommended  Public  that  Archives  the  of Canada,  should provide consulting expertise to companies . i n t e r e s t e d establishing  archives  and  in  that a tax incentive be included as  further encouragement. The Group made the f o l l o w i n g p r o p o s a l . . . . t o the extent that a business archives i s serving the p u b l i c , that portion of the annual cost of operating the archives should be seen for tax purposes, as a g i f t to the p u b l i c . Any archives has both an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e r o l e w i t h i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n and a p u b l i c , c u l t u r a l or research r o l e . The l a t t e r might be appraised p e r i o d i c a l l y by an outside committee of a r c h i v i s t s , and the corporation -would be able to deduct that portion of the a r c h i v e s ' operating costs as i t would be a g i f t to the Crown. 3  Such a suggestion again  raises  the  spectre  of  the  problems  associated with access p o l i c i e s and the role of the a r c h i v i s t their  formation.  alternative is  Despite  certainly  the  attendant  preferable  to  business records be c o l l e c t e d by e x i s t i n g A  difficulties, any  suggestion  that  second a l t e r n a t i v e to the in-house programme would be to  a  private  business  in  the  archives c a l l e d Erhvervarkivet  was  e s t a b l i s h e d in Aarhus. Eventually taken over by tax-supported,  the  the  state  members  including  representatives of business and institution  is  the  int ervent io n  national  the  publicly-supported,  research are s o l i c i t e d from p r i v a t e Richard  Berner  and  repository c o l l e c t s i n d u s t r i a l and business  records from a l l over Denmark and i s administered by a board seven  this  repositories.  follow the example provided in Denmark where, beginning 1940s,  in  addressed  archivist  universities.  4  While  of and the  funds to promote h i s t o r i c a l sources.  the  • issue  of  government  in the preservation of corporate records in a 1974  109  a r t i c l e . In b r i e f l y o u t l i n i n g impact  of  World  government  War  II,  political, '  rise  regulations  Berner less  the  observed  purely  on  of  business  business a c t i v i t y  that  business  economic  in  its  to  be  the  most  politically  the after  "became  more  behaviour."  Subsequently, the most important corporate records "also  and  have  tended  s e n s i t i v e " , and, the more  subject a firm i s to r e g u l a t i o n , "the l e s s l i k e l y w i l l i t s vital  papers  survive."  Reflecting  6  p o t e n t i a l future developments, Berner that  even  when  archives  5  on  most  h i s t o r i c a l trends and  pessimistically  observed  had been e s t a b l i s h e d , access to that  material has been very l i m i t e d . Our best hope i s that only when the past of a f i r m no longer seems to bear on the present w i l l a f i r m be comfortable about opening i t s records for normal s c h o l a r l y research. But w i l l the records of a r c h i v a l value s u r v i v e , t h a t time span i f voluntarism continues as inducement for a r c h i v a l retention? It i s d o u b t f u l . And what, indeed, i s the impact on values we l i k e to associate with those of a democratic society? Amongst the most vocal exponents of these values are businessmen themselves. Yet, i r o n i c a l l y , as business becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y p o l i t i c a l and " p u b l i c " in i t s impact, the more s e c r e t i v e and a r b i t r a r y i t must become - or so i t seems. 7  Consequently, Berner proposed that the larger firms be compelled through l e g i s l a t i o n deposit  their  to  establish  would  be  financed  p a r t i c i p a t i n g firms and the expense  if  researchers.  these on cost  or  to  a  regional  archives/records  cost-sharing written  off  basis as  a  by the business  the businesses allowed reasonable access to outside 8  This notion of e s t a b l i s h i n g business  programmes  a r c h i v a l records in f e d e r a l l y regulated business  records c e n t r e s . Operation of centres  in-house  records  cooperative  repositories  for  i s not novel and can, in f a c t , be traced back  110  to  Oliver  W.  Holmes' 1938 a r t i c l e .  9  He proposed that business  firms " e s t a b l i s h and support c o o p e r a t i v e l y c e n t r a l in  repositories  recognized i n d u s t r i a l regions for business records from that  region."  1 0  themselves  In  suggesting  to  finance  that  business  voluntarily  tax  these operations, Holmes a l s o envisaged  these r e p o s i t o r i e s as a place in which to maintain  the  records  of defunct f i r m s . In o u t l i n i n g h i s p l a n , Holmes observed t h a t : The b e n e f i t s from research i n these storehouses of experience might not be d i r e c t but they would be r e a l in t i m e . . . . T h e r e are i n d i v i d u a l s in the business world who, i f they wished to do so, have the power to guarantee an endowment sufficient to preserve generations of business experience, and with i t much political, s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y for the future. 11  Holmes  added  voluntary  that  basis,  if  such  "society,  programmes f a i l e d to operate on a acting  through  its  representatives w i l l almost c e r t a i n l y step i n . . . . " Undoubtedly,  the  potential  impact  p a r t i c i p a t i o n in preserving corporate legislation  or  some  1 2  of  records,  governmental either  through  tax i n c e n t i v e s , would be s i g n i f i c a n t . F i r s t , as  part of a basic agreement with companies, the gain  governmental  government  would  measure of c o n t r o l over a r c h i v a l records. This might  lessen the tendency of business to terminate a r c h i v a l programmes and destroy records f o l l o w i n g a change in corporate  management.  A second c o n d i t i o n of government support would include p r o v i s i o n of  greater  access  to  corporate  records.  In  return for tax  breaks, companies would be required to negotiate terms of access to t h e i r holdings with due c o n s i d e r a t i o n for the need to protect s e n s i t i v e corporate information. The whole concept of increasing government involvement in the preservation of is  business  records  based on the premise that the importance of t h i s m a t e r i a l to  111  the  overall  development  demonstrated.  Any  of  attempt  to  society  may  convince  the government of the  s i g n i f i c a n c e of such an undertaking lobbying e f f o r t s of  archivists,  Consequently, i t w i l l and  be necessary  while  management,  archivists  i t will  be  adequately  r e q u i r e the c o o r d i n a t e d  businessmen,  frank d i a l o g u e between these Even  will  be  and  historians.  t o e s t a b l i s h channels  of open  groups.  move i n c r e a s i n g l y i n t o  important  to  information  maintain  lines  of  communication with h i s t o r i a n s . No matter how f a r a r c h i v i s t s move away  from  continue  their  traditional  t o enjoy a symbiotic  the resources  from  which  contributing  expertise  draw a t t e n t i o n t o the Unfortunately,  such  roots,  r e l a t i o n s h i p ; the former p r o v i d i n g  to  write  Historical  respondents r e p o r t e d ranked  sixth  out  "miscellaneous" percentage  importance  of  cooperation  using  of ' s i x ,  ranked  as  the  most  is  archives.  neglected  area  imply  that t h e r e  1 3  of  ahead  unclear  whether  of  figure only  this  i n using  current  based for  a low  business  inaccessibility  i n d i c a t e d that business field  the  11% of the  This  finishing  respondents drawing a t t e n t i o n to the need figures  Committee  g e n e r a l lack of i n t e r e s t  the m a t e r i a l . The same survey  latter  documentation.  r e v e a l e d t h a t only  business  It  the  and h e l p i n g to  corporate  Archives  records or i s r a t h e r a f u n c t i o n of the of  and  may be d i f f i c u l t t o o b t a i n . A  Association  division.  reflects  history,  t o the a p p r a i s a l process  1982 q u e s t i o n n a i r e produced by the Canadian  they and h i s t o r i a n s w i l l  history  on the number of 1  action. "  These  i s much work to be c a r r i e d out i n t h i s  i n Canada. F r a n c i s B l o u i n has u s e f u l l y  suggested  that  i t would  be  1 12  desirable  to s t r i v e to recapture the cooperative s p i r i t  in the e a r l y development which  sought  to  and a r c h i v i s t s . historians  1 5  will  of  the  Business  Historical  Society  l i n k the i n t e r e s t s of businessmen, h i s t o r i a n s For t h i s to likely  happen  archivists,  rather  than  have to assume the leading r o l e in the  promotion of business a r c h i v e s . They are better able and  evident  to  design  maintain a r c h i v a l programmes that go beyond the preparation  of corporate h i s t o r i e s . While archival also  programme  attempt  historians  to  in  on  their  utility  of  an  access  to  corporate  records  for  p o s s i b l e . In t h i s way, a r c h i v i s t s might be  able to strengthen t h e i r depend  the  a d m i n i s t r a t i v e terms, a r c h i v i s t s should  provide  whenever  emphasizing  bonds  with  participation  historians  and  come  to  in record a p p r a i s a l and future  attempts to secure government incentives for corporate  archival  programmes. While  the  preservation constitute  of a  idea  of  business  government archives  is  involvement important  and  by  awaiting  demonstrate  how  i s for t h i s reason that  archival  a d m i n i s t r a t i v e functions w i t h i n the broadening  an  programmes modern  sit  archivists  can  business  his  chances  of  securing  fulfill firm.  By  funding  to  in-house programme. While t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e might be  proposed for larger companies, smaller firms they  to  the basis upon which an archives might be j u s t i f i e d ,  the a r c h i v i s t increases operate  would  t h i s development. In the i n t e r i m , a r c h i v i s t s  must take the i n i t i a t i v e . It must  the  s i g n i f i c a n t factor in determining the q u a l i t y and  quantity of records preserved, a r c h i v i s t s cannot a f f o r d idly  in  may  suggest  that  lack the resources for s i m i l a r operations. These companies  113  might  consider  repositories  placing  modelled  their on  records  the  Danish  in  special  regional  example. Cooperatively-  sponsored r e g i o n a l r e p o s i t o r i e s as described by Holmes might established.  As  an example of t h i s o p t i o n , a f o r e s t r y archives  might be b u i l t i n B r i t i s h records  of  a  be  number  Columbia  of  which  companies  would  preserve  the  and perhaps labour unions  involved i n the i n d u s t r y . As in the manner  of  private  records  centres,  the p a r t i c i p a t i n g organizations would c o n t r i b u t e funds  based on  the  amount  of  materials  stored  and  the  services  required. Another  alternative  for  companies unable or u n w i l l i n g to  e s t a b l i s h an in-house programme i s the p o s s i b i l i t y into  of  entering  a c o s t - s h a r i n g arrangement with an e x i s t i n g r e p o s i t o r y .  In  commenting on some of the advantages to be offered by u n i v e r s i t y archives in t h i s  respect,  N.  C.  Burkel  made  the  following  observations. They are widely dispersed g e o g r a p h i c a l l y , making p o s s i b l e regional c o l l e c t i o n s . They have f a c u l t y and staff expertise necessary for developing an a c q u i s i t i o n strategy and for appraising t e c h n i c a l records. They have the monographic l i t e r a t u r e , s c h o l a r l y j o u r n a l s , and government documents to complement a r c h i v a l sources. -They have the business, economics and graduate programs that provide research topics. 1 6  Such  an  option  would  be  particularly  attractive  businesses as a number of firms could pool t h e i r share  the  cost  of  the  extra  with  an  agreeable  to  the  resources  small and  space and s t a f f required at an  e x i s t i n g a r c h i v e s . In a d d i t i o n , the proximity records  to  of  the  business  u n i v e r s i t y community would provide the company  inexpensive  source  of  research  after  establishing  terms governing access. One of the main disadvantages  1 1 4  of  this  option i s that a r c h i v a l records are p h y s i c a l l y removed  from the c r e a t i n g organization and reference  may  cause  some  delays  in  and r e t r i e v a l of information. In a d d i t i o n , the amount  of time that an a r c h i v i s t can devote to other matters, participation  in  the  development  of  such  as  records and information  management systems, w i l l be reduced. Regardless of the organization of the programme, whether an in-house a r c h i v e s , a cooperative r e g i o n a l operation or  a  cost-  sharing arrangement with an e x i s t i n g r e p o s i t o r y ,  it is essential  that  be  the  task  of  caring  for  the  material  left  to  a  p r o f e s s i o n a l a r c h i v i s t . In many cases, the p o s i t i o n of a r c h i v i s t has been entrusted to a long-time employee with an history  interest  who, although well-meaning and c o n s c i e n t i o u s , lacks the  s k i l l s to f u l l y e x p l o i t the p o t e n t i a l a r c h i v a l resources, reduces  in  which  the general e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the programme. In order to  provide access to the corporate records,  the  archivist  information  contained  in  the  must devise a comprehensive system for  arranging, describing and indexing the m a t e r i a l . These tasks are better  left  to  understanding  the  of  professional  archivist  with  a  firm  both basic a r c h i v a l p r i n c i p l e s as w e l l as the  requirements of users. This i s perhaps the most important of a l l functions for without e f f e c t i v e and e f i c i e n t access to corporate information, the  value  of  the  archival  programme  would  be  greatly diminished. *  *  There  is  a  community of which leaders  *  *  *  *  subtle change of a t t i t u d e w i t h i n the business the  archivist  should  be  aware.  Business  are beginning to acknowledge that mistakes were made in  1 15  the p a s t , proving only that companies were guided by i n d i v i d u a l s with human f a i l i n g s . The s h i f t away from repressing a l l m a t e r i a l that f a i l s to portray the possible  light  is  company  in  increasingly  anything  evident  in  but recent  the  best  corporate  h i s t o r i e s which c h r o n i c l e the bad times as w e l l as the good. these  publications,  In  the author i s often s o l e l y responsible  for  the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and the company only ensures the accuracy of the f a c t s .  1 7  The a t t i t u d e of h i s t o r i a n s has a l s o changed  markedly  from  the biased accounts offered by the muckrakers as John Archer has observed. A developing sense of maturity permits company presidents to admit that excesses took place and that mistakes were made. Dark areas have occured in business h i s t o r y , but the h i s t o r i a n i s not seeking evidence of a shocker for the sake of shocking. He i s i n t e r e s t e d in the whole story in the whole c o n t e x t . 1 8  A r c h i v i s t s must be w i l l i n g to continue to b u i l d upon and e x p l o i t these moderating a t t i t u d e s . Corporate ideal  position  stand  in  an  to help integrate the worlds of the businessman  and the s c h o l a r . records,  archivists  In  archivists  encouraging  outside  access  to  business  can help to nurture a sense of " h i s t o r i c a l  a c c o u n t a b i l i t y " which contributes to  companies'  role  as  good  corporate c i t i z e n s . It  must  be  remembered  that  the h i s t o r i c a l component of  corporate a r c h i v e s , while very important,  represents  only  aspect  archivist.  His  of  the  potential  role  of  the  p r i o r i t y must remain a demonstration of the  ways  archival  the  programme  might  contribute  requirements of a company. While approach  of  an  perhaps  to  in  one first  which  an  administrative  capitalizing  on  the  important company anniversary and the enhanced  1  16  sense of h i s t o r i c i t y which surrounds i t to e s t a b l i s h an a r c h i v a l programme,  the  a r c h i v i s t must move q u i c k l y to broaden h i s base  of support w i t h i n the company. One of the primary f a c t o r s in encouraging a broader idea of the r o l e of corporate archives involves the adequate  pool  development  limited  desirability  an  of a r t i c l e s on the s u b j e c t . U n t i l very r e c e n t l y ,  the l i t e r a t u r e about business archives has tended to rather  of  of  orientation.  Archivists  establishing  more  have  archival  reflect  suggested programmes  a the and  h i s t o r i a n s have e x t o l l e d the v i r t u e s of researching in corporate documentation  and i n d i c a t e d what records they consider to be of  the most importance. Neither of these  attitudes  the  to  tangible  benefits  sufficiently  have  detailed  induce businessmen to  e s t a b l i s h archives on a broad s c a l e . F o r t u n a t e l y , the writers  has  comprehensive programmes  begun  to  expand  examination  could  of  of the  late ways  to in  exclusively  to  by  which  a  more  archival  Francis  American A r c h i v i s t ,  the subject of corporate archives i s a  p a r t i c u l a r l y encouraging sign of t h i s s h i f t . articles  include  of  be s u c c e s s f u l l y integrated i n t o the corporate  world. The p u b l i c a t i o n of a recent issue of devoted  focus  Blouin,  which  1 9  reflect  Likewise,  upon the need to  develop new a p p r a i s a l c r i t e r i a for business records, heralded a changing p e r s p e c t i v e .  recent  have  also  2 0  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , one element s t i l l conspicuous by i t s absence is  the  case  information companies.  study. concerning  A review of the l i t e r a t u r e reveals l i t t l e real  experiences  within  individual  Too o f t e n , a r t i c l e s have addressed the issue only in  broad terms. It might be suggested that  archivists  concentrate  1 17  on c h r o n i c l i n g both successes establish  and  maintain  and  failures  in  attempting  to  corporate a r c h i v a l programmes. Such an  exchange of information  would  be  invaluable  to  those  in  a  v a r i e t y of corporate s e t t i n g s who confront problems of a s i m i l a r nature. In a r e l a t e d v e i n , a r c h i v i s t s might a l s o seek to publish more  articles  in  business  publications  executives would be able to read which  about  the  where  corporate  various  functions  archives have served in other f i r m s . In t h i s way i t might  be p o s s i b l e to develop a higher business  community  and  profile  help  for  archives  in  to d i s p e l outmoded notions about  t h e i r l i m i t e d uses. In the f u t u r e , the encouragement of study  the  a  case  approach and a growing emphasis on p u b l i s h i n g in journals  which reach businessmen could have important  ramifications  for  the future of business a r c h i v e s . The  multitude of i n t a n g i b l e s involved make i t d i f f i c u l t to  accurately assess the future prospects One  for  business  archives.  f a c t o r , however, remains abundantly c l e a r - a r c h i v i s t s must  take the lead in promoting corporate archivist archives corporate  archival  programmes.  The  must be w i l l i n g to adopt an a c t i v e r o l e in developing into  a  recognized  community  to  business encourage  activity the  within  fullest  the  possible  u t i l i z a t i o n of i t s records. Although business archives may indeed be considered a "hard s e l l " , the imaginative influence and the archivist  in  developing  broader  w i l l c e r t a i n l y y i e l d b e n e f i t s in the product,  will  ensure  the  perserverance  of  the  a p p l i c a t i o n s of h i s services long-run  preservation  of  and, that  as  a  by-  part of our  c u l t u r a l heritage embedded in the records of business.  118  NOTES 'Doug F e t h e r l i n g , "Thanks Business (October 1980), p. 129.  for  the  John Archer, "Business Records: Canadian Business H i s t o r y , ed. D.S. McClelland and Stewart, 1972), p. 291. 2  Memories,"  Canadian  The Canadian Scene" in Macmillan (Toronto:  Consultative Group on Canadian A r c h i v e s , "Business A r c h i v e s , " in Canadian A r c h i v e s : A Report to the SSHRCC (Ottawa: SSHRCC, 1980), pp. 92-93. 3  "Joseph W. E r n s t , "The Business A r c h i v i s t : Problems P e r s p e c t i v e s , " Business H i s t o r y Review 44 (1970), p. 538.  and  R i c h a r d C. Berner, "Business Archives in P e r s p e c t i v e , " Journal of Forest History 18 (1974), p. 33. 5  6  7  B  Ibid. T  bid.  Ibid.,  p. 34.  0 1 i v e r W. Holmes, "The Evaluation and Preservation Business A r c h i v e s , " American A r c h i v i s t 1 (1938). 9  1  ° I b i d . , p. 181.  1 1  Ibid.  1 2  Ibid.,  p. 182.  Canadian 1983), p. 6. 13  1  of  "Ibid.,  Historical  Association,  Newsletter  9 (Autumn  p. 7.  F r a n c i s B l o u i n , "An Agenda for the A p p r a i s a l of Business Records," in A r c h i v a l Choices: Managing the H i s t o r i c a l Record in an Age of Abundance, ed. Nancy E. Peace (Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company, 1984), p. 75. 15  N . C . B u r k e l , Business Archives in a U n i v e r s i t y S e t t i n g : Status and P r o s p e c t s , " College and Research L i b r a r i e s 41 (1980), pp. 227-28. 1 6  'Examples of t h i s more open r e l a t i o n s h i p between company and author occur in two recent corporate h i s t o r i e s - Donald McKay, Empire of Wood: The Macmillan Bloedel Story (1982) and Earle Gray, W i l d c a t t e r s : The Story of P a c i f i c Petroleums and Westcoast Transmittion (1982"T^ 1  18  Archer,  "Business Records," p. 290.  119  19  American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982).  B l o u i n , "A New Perspective on the A p p r a i s a l of Business Records: A Review" and "An Agenda for the A p p r a i s a l of Business Records". 2 0  120  CHAPTER  VII  CONCLUSION  This study of argued  corporate  archives  in  North  has  that while business has played a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e in the  development of s o c i e t y , attempts to preserve met  America  with  only  limited  success.  records  have  The emergence of the current  s i t u t a t i o n may be blamed on a number of lingering  its  factors  including  the  e f f e c t s of the negative h i s t o r i c a l accounts published  e a r l y in t h i s century by muckrakers, business  to  view  the  l i a b i l i t y , and  the  programmes  more  as  the  growing  tendency  of  i n cr e a s i n g accumulation of records as a  failure  of  archivists  to  justify  their  than a source to f a c i l i t a t e the w r i t i n g of  h i s t o r y . Evidence has demonstrated that t h i s h i s t o r i c a l approach has held only l i m i t e d appeal. Consequently,  i t has  been  argued  that in the future the corporate a r c h i v i s t must become something more  than  a  passive curator awaiting the a r r i v a l of  documentation which no longer f u l f i l l s l e g a l  or  "retired"  administrative  requirements. He must a l s o be w i l l i n g and able to p a r t i c i p a t e in records corporate  and  information  archivist  management.  should  endeavour  In to  other  words,  the  escape  from  the  " h i s t o r i c a l shunt" which, as both Norton and Taylor have warned, has  drastically  archival broader corporate If  limited  programmes. notion  the  effectiveness  Increasingly,  and  archivists  resources of must  adopt  a  of the p o t e n t i a l functions of archives w i t h i n a  setting. archivists  accept  as  one  of  their  primary  121 responsibilities  the o b l i g a t i o n to preserve the records of past  business e n t e r p r i s e s in North America, then they must ideas  as  to  how  formulate  t h i s might be most e f f e c t i v e l y accomplished.  Given the  tremendous  volume  annually,  publicly-sponsored  of  corporate  institutions  material  produced  are i l l - e q u i p p e d to  carry out the massive c o l l e c t i o n programmes necessary to achieve this  objective.  establishment  The  of  obvious  in-house  alternative  archival  involves  programmes,  the  particularly  within the l a r g e r c o r p o r a t i o n s . The proposal to encourage in-house operations i s not  new.  It  first  surfaced  in  the  late  certainly  1930s  p r e v e l a n t l y in the 1940s as the f o l l y of attempting  and to  more  collect  the r a p i d l y i n c r e a s i n g records of business was recognized. E a r l y efforts  to preserve business archives were based on a d e s i r e to  accumulate records from which objective business be  history  could  w r i t t e n which, i t was reasoned by academic h i s t o r i a n s , would  c o n s t i t u t e s u f f i c i e n t grounds upon which to j u s t i f y the cost maintaining  the  records.  Unfortunately,  t h i s approach lacked  broad appeal. Businesses experiencing the i n c r e a s i n g l y effect  of  stifling  of an inundation of records often opted for the t a n g i b l e  returns o f f e r e d by records management which held out the promise of systematic c o n t r o l based on l e g a l and f u n c t i o n a l c r i t e r i a . As a r e s u l t , the development of corporate archives identifiable  focus  has  lacked  an  since the 1950s. Although achieving l i m i t e d  success, business archives are often s t i l l viewed as l i t t l e more than "window d r e s s i n g " rather activity unnecessary  and  as  frill.  such  are  than  as  a  susceptible  recognized to  closure  business as  an  122  This  thesis  has  suggested  a  need  to  return  to  the  "Nortonian" idea of archives which emphasizes the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e qualities  of  archival  outside researchers.  programmes  This  is  over  the  particularly  requirements necessary  of  in  the  corporate s e t t i n g where great s i g n i f i c a n c e i s placed on tangible returns  and there i s often l i t t l e recognition of the importance  of c u l t u r a l concerns. In order to make archives more to  attractive  business, a r c h i v i s t s must adopt a broader perspective of the  s e r v i c e s that they might o f f e r and think in terms of resources  could  be  utilized  in  the  how  their  d a i l y operations of the  company. This t r a n s i t i o n from a p a s s i v e , h i s t o r y - b a s e d operation to an i n t e g r a t e d , recognized business a c t i v i t y does not that  require  the a r c h i v i s t becomes a records manager whose sole goal i s  cost e f f i c i e n c y . Instead, the a r c h i v i s t ' s goal i s  to  instil  a  rounded  concern  for  e f f i c i e n t management of current and semi-  current  records  and  the  documentation  preservation  of  adequate  archival  with which to understand the company's growth and  development - for the f i r m ' s own sake and  for  the  benefit  of  s o c i e t y at l a r g e . To  advocate  such  an  orientation  is  not  to  suggest a  severing of t r a d i t i o n a l t i e s with the h i s t o r i c a l community. good  archivist  will  always  be  concerned with h i s t o r y .  e s s e n t i a l to maintain an open dialogue with their  input  into  long-term  research  a r c h i v i s t s should material  for  to  It  is add  the a p p r a i s a l process, for they keep up with  the l a t e s t h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l trends and can the  historians  The  value  endeavour  qualified  to  of  also  reflect  upon  corporate records. In t u r n ,  provide  access  to  corporate  outside researchers whenever p o s s i b l e .  123  Although i t has been a s e n s i t i v e issue access  to  company  records  would  would nurture a sense of corporate and,  in  turn,  contribute  to  in  the  past,  have important b e n e f i t s . "historical  to  be  a greater understanding between research  be  used  an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e t o o l . While research i s u s e f u l in a number  of ways, the a r c h i v i s t should not attempt to provide any  might  a very e f f e c t i v e method of organizing information  locked w i t h i n the company's o l d records which can then as  It  accountability"  business and the p u b l i c . In a d d i t i o n , s c h o l a r l y prove  allowing  c o s t . It  access  at  i s important for the a r c h i v i s t to e s t a b l i s h as h i s  f i r s t p r i o r i t y the preservation of the corporate records and  to  avoid anything which might jeopardize t h i s o b j e c t i v e . The  archivist  should  opt to emphasize the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e  functions over h i s t o r i c a l research because the likely  to  former  is  more  appeal to businessmen. Past experience has indicated  that e x c l u s i v e r e l i a n c e on h i s t o r y as j u s t i f i c a t i o n for archives has met with only l i m i t e d success in the business world. One the  hew areas into which a r c h i v i s t s should i n c r e a s i n g l y move i s  the development of "information p o l i c y " which, as has  of  suggested,  involves  "concerned  with  management,  distribution  proposed concern  movement with  the  of  Marilyn  Gell  a complex set of i n t e r - r e l a t e d issues creation, and  retrieval  corporate  administrative  production,  of i n f o r m a t i o n . "  archivists  functions  collection,  and  toward  1  The  increased  participation  in  corporate information appears to be the only p r a c t i c a l method of ensuring the preservation of the permanently- valuable records of business. Success in appealing to these c r i t e r i a in would  have  the  future  important r a m i f i c a t i o n s for f a c i l i t a t i n g the spread  124  of  specialized,  hospitals,  decentralized  institutional  archives  in  unions, m u n i c i p a l i t i e s , u n i v e r s i t i e s and businesses.  Indeed, the necessity of demonstrating the t a n g i b l e returns from a r c h i v a l programmes may become i n c r e a s i n g l y whole  archival  community  and  may,  in  focus  important  for  the  in the process, produce a  better a r c h i v i s t . The  suggested  historical worthy  shift  away  from  the  strictly  approach towards a broader perspective might a l s o be  of  study  Consideration  for  the  general  archival  community.  of t h i s r e o r i e n t a t i o n w i t h i n a broader context  timely because the p r o f e s s i o n as a whole i s c u r r e n t l y caught in  an  on-going  debate  as  to  humanistic  up  whether a r c h i v i s t s should move  i n c r e a s i n g l y i n t o the information f i e l d or rather restore traditional  is  their  t i e s with h i s t o r i a n s . As i l l u s t r a t e d by  the experience of business a r c h i v e s , i t i s  now  time  to  stand  back and reassess the p o s i t i o n of the a r c h i v a l p r o f e s s i o n and to develop a strategy for future development. A r c h i v i s t s should not soften  in  their  resolve  to  adopt,  o b j e c t i v e , the  preservation  of  permanently  which  an accurate account of our s o c i e t y . The question  reflect  then becomes how t h i s might be done question  most  as  their  fundamental  valuable  effectively.  records  Such  a  r e f l e c t s the necessity of expanding the purview of the  a r c h i v i s t of the future and not l i m i t i n g him to the  traditional  r o l e of the passive c o l l e c t o r . In  the  debate  about  the  future  course  of  development which has c r y s t a l i z e d into two, seemingly  archival mutually-  e x c l u s i v e camps, the a r c h i v a l community would be w e l l advised to incoporate  elements  of each into a broader theory of a r c h i v e s .  1 2 5  In t h i s endeavour i t might be p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l to b u i l d the  foundations  laid  Burke," and Francis  by Hugh T a y l o r ,  Blouin,  development  of  archival  examination  of  the  organizations  as  all  5  theory  structure  well  of  Michael L u t z k e r ,  2  whom  believe  upon Frank  3  that  the  should be based upon a c l o s e r and  dynamics  of  bureaucratic  as the subsequent impact on the records  produced. In  reflecting  on  the  possibility  of  adding  another  dimension to the e x p e r t i s e of future a r c h i v i s t s , Michael Lutzker posed the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s : Can he or she be the appropriate person to.suggest how bureaucratic conflict might be mediated, how i n s t i t u t i o n a l goals might be c l a r i f i e d , indeed in what ways a dysfunctioning structure might be improved? Is it fantasy to suggest that the a r c h i v i s t might eventually occupy such an enhanced r o l e , one not now incorporated in t r a i n i n g manuals? 6  New v i s t a s are opening up into which a r c h i v i s t s can step i f they  are  willing.  suggestion  of  a  Some shift  will in  continue  focus  away  to  complain that any  from  the  historical  community w i l l s p e l l an end to the a r c h i v a l p r o f e s s i o n . However, if  the  archivist  is  willing  to  take  a c t i o n to explore new  d i r e c t i o n s and become responsive to changing requirements, will  be  able  to  move  i n t o the future under t h e i r own terms.  F a i l u r e to adopt a s u f f i c i e n t l y result  in  the  decline  broad  perspective  could  in  eventual  well  of the a r c h i v a l p r o f e s s i o n f o r , in any  evolutionary process, i n a b i l i t y to adapt to changing results  they  extinction.  Consequently,  conditions  a r c h i v i s t s in  general should endeavour to escape from the " h i s t o r i c a l  shunt',  which has long l i m i t e d t h e i r r o l e , and become more responsive to the  needs  of  the  future to b u i l d upon the experiences of the  126  past.  127  NOTES ' M a r i l y n K. G e l l , " S o c i o - P o l i t i c a l Impact of Information Technology," S p e c i a l L i b r a r i e s 72 ( A p r i l 1981), p. 100. Hugh T a y l o r , "Information Ecology and the Archives of the 1980s," A r c h i v a r i a 18 (Summer 1984). 2  Michael Lutzker, "Max Weber and the A n a l y s i s of Modern Bureaucratic Organization: Notes Towards a Theory of A p p r a i s a l , " American A r c h i v i s t 45 (1982). 3  "Frank G. Burke, "The Future Course of A r c h i v a l Training the United S t a t e s , " American A r c h i v i s t (1981).  in  F r a n c i s B l o u i n , "An Agenda for the A p p r a i s a l of Business Records," in A r c h i v a l Choices: Managing the H i s t o r i c a l Record in an Age of Abundance, ed. Nancy E. Peace (Lexington: D.C. Heath and C o . , 1984). 5  6  L u t z k e r , p. 130.  128  APPENDIX I  CANADIAN BUSINESS ARCHIVES QUESTIONNAIRE This questionnaire was not intended to capture comprehensive information d e t a i l i n g a l l forms of corporate a r c h i v a l programmes in Canada as that would have required a massive m a i l i n g to hundreds of f i r m s . Instead, the questionnaire was designed to reveal something of the character of those corporate archives known to be operating i n t h i s country. Consequently, questionnaires were mailed to companies l i s t e d in the D i r e c t o r y of Canadian Archives (1981) and the Directory of Business Archives in the United States and Canada (1980). (* Not a l l respondents f i l l e d out a l l the sections of the questionnaire and, as a r e s u l t , f i g u r e s do not always balance.)  Names of Respondents : A i r Canada Alcan Aluminum Bank of Canada Bank of Montreal B.C. Telephone Company Canadian National Canadian Opera Company Hydro Quebec L a b a t t ' s Brewing Company L t d . London L i f e Insurance Company Ontario Hydro The Royal Bank of Canada Sun L i f e Assurance Company of Canada Toronto Dominion Bank  QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS  Total number of respondents Total number completing survey  15 11  O r i g i n s of Programmes Decades in which a r c h i v a l programmes e s t a b l i s h e d . 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s  0 1 6 0  Records T o t a l volume of holdings in l i n e a r f e e t . >1 00 1 00-500. 500-1 ,000 1 ,000-2,000 2,000-3,000. 3,000-4,000  1 3 0 1 2 1  R e p o s i t o r i e s reporting holdings other than paper. Film/Tape/Video 6 Photographs/Slides 6 Art i f a c t s 3 Memorabilia .2 Discs 1 Advertising P o s t e r s . . . . . . 1 Plans 1 Clippings 1 Microf ilm 1 Archives reporting use of automation. Yes 2 No .5 Limited Use/Under S t u d y . . . . . 3 Companies c o l l e c t i n g p r i v a t e papers r e l a t i n g to company, Yes 9  1 30  Staffing Companies reporting from 1 to 6 f u l l - t i m e employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6  5 0 2 0 0 1  (Seven i n s t i t u t i o n s reported one p a r t - t i m e employee.) T i t l e s of those working in the a r c h i v e s .  BUDGET  Archivist Clerk Assistant Archivist Project A s s i s t a n t . Photograph A r c h i v i s t Archives Technician F i l m L i b r a r y Coordinator L i b r a r y Clerk  7 6 3 1 1 1 1 3  Total budget for the l a s t f i s c a l year. >$1 0 , 000. $10,000-100,000 $100,000-200,000 $200,000-300,000 Budget incorporated i n t o department  1 0 1 2 2  CORPORATE ORGANIZATION To whom does the head of the a r c h i v a l programme report? Corporate Secretary V.P. Administration G.M. P u b l i c A f f a i r s and A d v e r t i s i n g D i r . of P u b l i c i t y and P u b l i c Relations V.P. Public A f f a i r s Manager - Purchasing Services Chief Economist Manager - Corporate Services  3 1 1 1 1 1 1 ...1  Does your company have a records management programme? Yes No.  10 2  131 If  so, i t i s i t s operation integrated with the archives? Yes 3 No 7  Companies report a r c h i v a l input into the preparation of r e t e n t i o n schedules. Yes No  7 3  Does your company maintain a l i b r a r y ? Yes No  9 1  ACCESS TO RECORDS Most companies reported a l l o w i n g employees access to records to s a t i s f y work requirements. Departments which represented the greatest users of the a r c h i v e s . Public A f f a i r s Senior Management Public Relations Market ing Legal Operations P o l i c y Department Actuarial Human Resources Engineering  internal  5 4 3 3 2 . .2 1 1 1 1  Companies a l l o w i n g access to archives for outside researchers. (Most companies reported that they would allow access to n o n - r e s t r i c t e d m a t e r i a l at the d i s c r e t i o n of the a r c h i v i s t . )  1 32  PHYSICAL FACILITIES Number of square feet a l l o c a t e d to the a r c h i v e s . > 1 00 100-1,000 1 ,000-2,000 2,000-3,000 3,000-4,000 4,000+  1 ...1 4 2 1 1  Number of days per week the a r c h i v e s 5 3 Not  (7,000)  i s open ..7 2 1  open on a r e g u l a r b a s i s  RELATED ACTIVITIES Mandate broader that p u r e l y a r c h i v a l f u n c t i o n or museum component.) Yes No  (ie. library  7 3  (Tended to have museum components) Have a r c h i v a l records been used i n the p r e p a r a t i o n company h i s t o r y ? Yes No  of a  ... 1 0 0  P r o f e s s i o n a l memberships h e l d by s t a f f . 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