Over the past seventy years, American businesses have established archival repositories to house their historical records and collections in an effort to preserve—as well as provide access to—their histories. As American corporations expand and mature, more and more businesses are establishing archival repositories to house their historical records and collections. In this thesis, I outline the history of business archives in the United States and discuss the best practices and standards in the field. I apply my findings to a case study of the Kodak Archive, a corporate archives project based at Eastman Kodak Park (Greece, NY). The case study is informed by my internship experience over several months in 2017 when I worked as part of a team to establish this archive. In addition to incorporating my first-hand experience with the archive, this thesis assesses the current state of the archive in terms of scope, content and storage conditions. This assessment is supplemented by interviews with members of the Kodak archives committee in an effort to gain a concrete understanding of what kind of resources are available for the development of the archive. The culmination of the project is a set of recommendations for a collections policy that outline a clear plan of action for how the Kodak archive can be developed into a repository on par with some of the best examples in the field. While these outcomes will assist the personnel at Kodak in making informed decisions about archival administration, appraisal and acquisition, records management, and arrangement and description, the case study seeks to serve as an example for professionals working in other business archives.
Museum Studies (BS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of History (CLA)
King, Emily, "Making History Work: Corporate Archives and the Eastman Kodak Company" (2018). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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