Business Archives as Business Assets

Archives & Special Collections has managed the Scottish Business Archive since 1975. These are internationally important collections of business records covering the whole of Scotland and beyond, dating from the 18th century to the present.  They reflect the contribution and breadth of activity that Scotland’s business, industry and enterprise has made to local and international economies and societies.

Each of these business collections are unique, with its own story of achievement, innovation, organisational culture, reputation, products and people. Archives & Special Collectoins have successfully worked with many active businesses to help them manage their archives, tell those unique stories and capture today’s experience, knowledge and business know-how for future use.

How can archives be used to support businesses?

Archives can be used in many ways to support active business and industry and a business archive is a business asset, providing evidence and proof of business transactions, translating into new brands and products, allowing a business to trade on its heritage.

  • Heritage displays and written histories – tell your customers, visitors and wider public the unqiue story of your business.
  • Product Support – archival material could be used for advertising, brand development or a support tool for the sales force.
  • Historical Profiles – of companies, products, sites/offices and prominent individuals.
  • Public Relations – historical information for speeches, press releases, nostalgic packaging and advertising, leaflets detailing company history, anniversary celebrations local community relations and promotional exhibitions.
  • Marketing Strategy – re-discover old markets, strategies, products or processes through the archives. Records may also show evidence of past success or failure for such strategies, aiding management decision. 
  • Legal resource – archives may supply facts as a legal resource of the company in order to support legal claims, or answer management questions, for example concerning patent or trade mark disputes.
  • Employee engagement – understanding the history of a business can strengthen corporate identity and promote employee loyalty and engagement.

Case studies