Repository Profile - Amway Historical Archives & Museum

Amway Historical Archives & Museum: Preserving the Legacy around the Globe
by Sarah Latva, CA, Amway

Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel, high school friends and risk-taking entrepreneurs, founded Amway in 1959 out of the basements of their homes, building their success on the desire to make other people successful. Today Amway operates in more than 100 countries and territories and offers more than 450 health, beauty and home products through its distributors. As one of the world’s largest direct selling companies, Amway has a proud heritage and has offered business opportunities to millions of people worldwide. Our history is a living part of us – it defines who we are and where we are going.

Our heritage has been important since the early days of Amway. We’ve had a records management program since the 1960s, and a formal archives program was started in the 1970s, including an Amway Museum used for visitors and tours. Over the years, different departments and employees were responsible for the archives, but because of employees who saw the value, the collections were preserved until a new formal archives program started again in 1997. The new program fell under the responsibility of records management with the guidance of a consulting archivist and dedication of employees of the records management department. This is the current program that exists today.
Amway’s Historical Archives & Museum, as part of the Global Records & Information Management department, is dedicated to preserving the integrity of Amway's heritage. Amway is a global operation that relies on a central repository of records and information to provide a credible resource for historical information.

The mission of the Archives is to preserve and maintain our corporate heritage and legacy around the globe, by serving as the official memory of the corporation. The Archives connects Amway employees, business owners, customers, and global communities with Amway's rich history by uniting the past, present, and envision of the future.  This is accomplished with the collection of speeches, photographs, documents, artifacts, and more that preserve and maintain the corporate heritage of Amway. Our processed collections dating back to the 1940s amount to over 1,500 boxes (cubic feet) of objects and archival collections, almost 20,000 photo negatives, over 30,000 photo film files, 27 rows of audio-visual materials, an extensive corporate artwork collection, as well as an increasing amount of digital assets. The collections are housed in an environmentally-controlled room with FM-200 fire suppression system and security badge access to ensure long-term preservation of Amway’s archival materials.The primary responsibility of the Archives is to serve the corporate research and preservation needs of employees, departments, executives, and Amway Business Owners (ABOs). External research is permitted on a case-by-case basis with approval from the Legal and Public Relations departments. The most frequent users of the archives include Public Relations, creative directors, marketing/brand managers, Executive Office, HR Communications, and Research & Development. Archival assets are used increasingly for videos, #throwbackthursday and #flashbackfriday posts, to showcase Amway’s heritage and adds legitimacy to the company. Amway’s 50th anniversary in 2009 brought a significant increase in the usage and business value of the Archives, and requests and partnerships continue to grow each year, even more as we near the upcoming 60th anniversary.

Keepers of the Flame

Note:  Repository Profilies are provided by the organization.  The Business Archives Section will update as notified by the organization.  Accordingly, information may not be accurate.  Individuals should contact the organization before using or citing information.

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