Business archives and local communities: corporate heritage in Loughborough, UK
journal contributionposted on 19.06.2017, 14:43 authored by Clare RavenwoodClare Ravenwood, Tim Zijlstra
The LoCHe project investigated corporate archives, focusing on the case of Loughborough, a market town in Leicestershire, UK. The potential benefits for the business from creating and managing a company archive are great and the local community also benefits, but this reciprocal relationship and its associated challenges has not been widely examined. Through analysis of interviews and focus groups with a variety of stakeholders, it explored the relationship between businesses, archives and the local community. The project found that corporate archives are considered important to local enthusiasts as a source for historic research, and help inform local and work identity. Individuals are key to collecting and preserving material both in the community and the business, but community members are often unable to contribute to or access business archives. Also there is a disconnection between stakeholders which results in an ad hoc and confused local picture. The impact of digital is yet to be felt except in limited ways. It also revealed that corporate archives are often treated as an afterthought by businesses, which potentially leads to the loss of archives due to lack of interest, resources or skill to manage it appropriately.
This work was supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council.
- Business and Economics