An historical understanding of the phenomenon that is Silicon Valley requires the collection and preservation of original records. With the rapid pace of change in the technology industry, how can archivists and their institutions preserve this corporate history? Two archivists address how they were able to found an archives at Cisco Systems and maintain another at Hewlett-Packard. Two common elements emerged: 1) the formation of a licensed limited company (LLC) as the legal structure for the archival repository, and 2) the use of outsourcing to staff both repositories. Outsourcing via a non-profit, in this case the Computer History Museum, or a for-profit archival service provider offers archival and exhibit expertise, scalability, and flexibility, all of which are instrumental for technology companies. With Silicon Valley’s headlong rush toward the future and its extensive use of contractors we believe these case studies will provide a partial mechanism for preserving Silicon Valley history.
Paula Jabloner is Senior Director Research Archives at the Computer History Museum and Director of the Center for Cisco Heritage. Her archival career has spanned over 25 years at History San Jose, San Francisco's GLBT Historical Society, and Princeton University. Anna Mancini is recently retired after 17 years as Corporate Archivist at Hewlett-Packard Company.
Jabloner, Paula and Mancini, Anna
"Corporate Archives in Silicon Valley: Building and Surviving Amid Constant Change,"
Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 11:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol11/iss1/3