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Re: [ARSCLIST] copyright and archives query

Hey Folks,
  I haven't been following this whole string of discussion, but I wanted to let you know that there is hope for a few Corporate Archives out there.  
  I know that the corporate world isn't great at retaining history, but I know a few corporate archivists personally in some big US organizations and they are working hard at preserving as much history as possible. 
  Detroit Symphony Orchestra Archivist

Mwcpc6@xxxxxxx wrote:
In a message dated 3/25/2007 4:15:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
jtroutman@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

and steven, that's a horror story if i ever heard one. i have 
utilized plenty of city, state, and federal government archives, 
newspaper archives, and public and private libraries, but this is my 
first venture into seeking corporate archives. i guess i've been 
pretty lucky up to this point. using ledgers as insulation? that's 
the sort of thing that breaks my heart. 


Many years ago when I worked for Kodak I bought a "Cine Special" 16mm movie 
camera, the model used for the original Disney time lapse sequences. I found 
in an ad in an old National Geographic that said that each of the original 
purchases of the camera would have their name entered into a permanent ledger 
for all time.

I went to the curator of the division's patent museum, which still existed 
at that time, and asked to see the record for my camera's serial number. He 
became quite perturbed and went on a rant about how all the records of that 
product had simply been thrown into a dumpster by a young production supervisor 
on a cleanup campaign.

Much later the company became involved in major patent and antitrust 
litigation at a time when new disclosure laws began to require that all documents in 
any way relating to the issues be made available for examination by the 
plaintiff's lawyers. This involved hauling literally truckloads of paper to a 
special location where engineers who could have been involved in product 
development spent years determining the relevancy of these documents.

After that, a firm rule was established that NO documentation was to be 
retained unless it was essential for current production. I doubt that one can 
expect to obtain much historical information from corporate archives, in the US 
at least.

Mike Csontos

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