Repository Profile - Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble Heritage Center and Archives
Greg McCoy, Senior Archivist

1957 was a momentous year for Procter & Gamble.  The company celebrated its 120th anniversary, Crest was in the midst of the “Look Mom, No Cavities” campaign, Tide was expanding into Europe, we acquired the Charmin Paper Company which would be the foundation for Pampers, which today is our largest and most global brand.  But most importantly as all of this was transpiring, one passionate and empowered employee established the P&G Corporate Archives.

An avid history buff, Al Perrin was the editor of the company magazine, Moonbeams.  A long time employee, Al recognized that he was not alone in having a hunger for the heritage of the company.  In addition to his regular duties in Public Affairs, Al took it upon himself to begin collecting and organizing important materials from P&G’s past.  As the Moonbeams editor he had the opportunity to interview company leaders and key individuals on every topic imaginable.  Quickly being recognized as the company historian, Al delighted in sharing P&G heritage through articles, lobby displays, and other executions.

Growing directly from the passion exhibited by Al Perrin and his worthy successor, Ed Rider, today’s Archives Staff continues to bring the heritage of P&G to life in vivid, inspirational and unexpected ways in order to ensure a legacy worthy of the people, brands, and company we serve.

Based in P&G’s global headquarters in downtown Cincinnati OH, the Heritage Center and Archives is located on the main corridor traveled by virtually everyone in the building, including all of our senior managers.   The Heritage Center is the face of the Archives and is the showcase that enables us to share the stories of P&G’s past in order to inspire today’s employees and business partners.  Although externally accessible on a case-by-case basis, we’re a closed collection with our primary clients including senior executives, Marketing, Communications, R&D, Design, HR and Legal.

Conducting 8-10 one-hour tours per week, our staff takes employees and their guests on a 179 year journey using the themes of passion, serendipity, and challenging paradigms to bring our heritage to life while making it relevant and applicable to their backgrounds and interest level.  We also work closely with HR to insure all new North American interns and employees experience the tour and are aware of the historical relevance of P&G’s purpose, values, and principles.   For those employees unable to visit the Heritage Center our heritage website is chocked full of the stories we share on tours, as well as downloadable images.  An external version of this site exists at (sans the downloadable images).

One of the most important functions of the Archives is conducting targeted deep dive sessions into a brand’s history.  The Heritage Center is equipped with a dedicated space for this purpose, and by using storytelling, immersive experience design techniques, and most importantly the treasures of the Archives, our staff crafts displays and presentations to address a brand’s specific needs and issues.

The Heritage Center and Archives is always a busy place, either with tours, brand sessions, or the tried and true work of processing the collection.  We’re keeping especially busy these days as P&G is divesting nearly 40 beauty brands to Coty, Intl. (including Max Factor, one of most heritage-rich brands), we’re digitizing our audio/video collection, wrapping up the digitization of our post-1979 soap opera collection, and coordinating more closely with P&G’s DAM team to make more heritage assets more accessible to global employees.

P&G leaders and employees have always shown a respect and interest for their heritage, and this comes through frequently in brand events and advertising.  My favorite example is Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign.  Inspired directly from 1960’s advertising of Burley, an Old Spice flanker, and combined with a current consumer insight that guys don’t buy their own body wash, “Smell Like a Man, Man” re-launched Old Spice to relevancy in the category.

Hanging proudly in the P&G Heritage Center & Archives is a sign that I’m sure all BAS members would embrace, “No company can afford the luxury of rediscovering its own prior knowledge.” (JG Pleasants, VP)   These are our words of wisdom and call to action.  I thoroughly believe I have the best job in the world, and I look forward to what the future holds for P&G’s heritage.



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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