How Sweet It Is: MARAC Business Archives Forum Recap

By Emily Cottle 

Emily Cottle kicks off the program. Photograph courtesy Ryan Donaldson.

Nearly 30 corporate and religious archivists from the MARAC region and beyond gathered at our spring conference in Hershey for MARAC’s second ever Business Archives Forum. The forums are a full-day of programming for business archivists to network with colleagues and hear presentations focused on the unique challenges of the corporate environment.

The day began with a presentation from Winthrop Group’s Melissa Wasson about the importance of an archive’s digital presence. Melissa presented a case study of the process involved in creating an intranet site at AT&T from design to launch.


Next up Kate Fair from the Vanguard Group discussed the important role oral history plays in documenting institutional memory. She provided tips and tricks for conducting oral histories and then led a group discussion among attendees.

Michael Montalbano of the Winthrop Group presented on the challenges and tactics of moving a very large collection. He stressed the importance of remaining flexible and that you can avoid feeling overwhelmed by breaking very large projects up into smaller manageable pieces.

The next presentation, by Winthrop Group’s Amelia George and Suzana Chilaka, shared strategies and best practices for tackling large scale appraisal projects – prioritization, flexibility, communication, teamwork, and perseverance.



Cristina Vignore and Alexa Logush discuss Tiffany's digital asset management sytem. Photo courtesy Ryan Donaldson.


The final presentation of the day was from Cristina Vignore and Alexa Logush of Tiffany & Co. The team shared how through close partnership with IT and relentless self-advocacy they’ve made great improvementsin the management their digital assets.

The presentations were broken up with two table-group discussion activities. The first focused on the challenges of reference in the corporate environment. Key takeaways included the importance of tracking services provided and tips for turning your successful requests into tools for advocacy.

The second discussion activity focused on speaking archives to non-archivists. Here attendees discussed the importance of learning the language of those you’re trying to influence and avoiding jargon. Another great strategy is build relationships with non-archivists at your institution who can be your champions.

Thank you to everyone who presented and participated in the MARAC Business Archives Forum! We look forward to seeing you this Fall in Wilmington, DE for the next one - October 11-13, 2018.





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