[Ask a Business Archivist]: What Is Your Title and Where Do You Report?

This is the second post in a collaborative series with the Business Archives Section. You can read all posts from this series here. Have a SNAP-related question for the archivists? Check out our anonymous submission form here.

Ask a Business Archivist Question:

What is your title as an archivist for a business? Where does the archives report in your organization? How did you find your current position?

Ask an Archivist Answers:

What is your title as an archivist for a business? Firm Archivist
Where does the archives report in your organization? Global Communications.
How did you find your current position? I was recruited.

Paul Lasewicz
Firm Archivist, McKinsey & Company Archives

I am the Senior Archivist, which is not the same as the Corporate Archives Director. We have a part-time employee, who primarily does processing. Otherwise we are the only two archivists in a global corporation of 155,000 employees.

The corporate archives reports to Corporate Affairs, which is responsible for internal and external communications, issues management, government relations, global public policy, corporate responsibility, sustainable development, the foundation, community engagement, brand, and digital and social communications. The Corporate Archives is part the Content and Storytelling Hub. Knowledge Management in our organization, made up of the corporate librarians and information specialists, is part of the Business Operations and Supply Chain function. Records Management reports through Finance.

Luckily a friend saw the posting for my job and forwarded it to me. Typically most business archives jobs are posted through SAA and are then picked up by Archives Gig.

Jennifer Johnson
Senior Archivist, Cargill, Incorporated

My title in the SRP Research Archives department is Historical Analyst. The reason this title is used for our staff members is due to SRP’s internal job structure, which is made up of analysts, technicians, principals, and managers (for the most part). Therefore we as analysts are specifically called Historical Analysts. That title also is reflected in our specific job responsibilities, which not only include archival work but also include research and analysis of our collection.

The archives department is located in the Strategic Planning department within SRP. That in turn reports to Strategy and Resource Planning. This is a somewhat unique positioning for an archives department and one that we are very happy with as we frequently work with our strategists and this location clearly demonstrates the correlation between studying our past to prepare for the future.

I found my current position at SRP through the archives internship program. Our department maintains a paid student internship position and I was fortunate enough to hear about it through my volunteer work at a local museum. From that internship, I was able to familiarize myself with archival practice and had the opportunity to stay on full-time when one of the staff members retired. My background is somewhat unusual for an archivist in that most of my experience up to my time with SRP was in museum work and curation. My undergraduate degrees are in Sociocultural Anthropology and Italian and I have a graduate degree in Museum Studies. However, I have found many areas of common ground as I perform my research and archival management for SRP and appreciate the added skillsets I can bring to the table with my colleagues.

Chelsea Jones
Historical Analyst, Salt River Project

My title is: Senior Librarian/Archivist

Reporting structure: The Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Archives folds up under the Organizational Development area of HR.

How I found my current position: I had worked on a special project for the Walt Disney Imagineering library in 2004 and when Consumer Products was looking for an information professional to launch their library and archives in late 2005, they called the Imagineering library for a recommendation. Consumer Products called me in for an interview and I was hired in 2006.

Elizabeth A. Spatz, MLIS
Archivist & Chief Librarian, Disney Consumer Products, Walt Disney Company

My title at P&G is Senior Archivist, and like other titles at P&G is intended to quickly show one’s level and area of specialty (Archives vs. Communications, Brand, Scientist, etc.). Officially named the P&G Heritage and Archives Center, the archives is located within out Global Consumer Relations (GCR) organization which reports to both Global Communications (Comms) and Global Business Services (GBS). Being part of GCR gives the Archives incredible access to our consumers and vice versa, allowing us to address their heritage questions, inquiries and donations related to our brands and the corporation. Being part of Communications means we are called upon daily to provide heritage perspective to employees and brands, as well as to external guests and business partners. Most people don’t understand what Global Business Services is, but simply put it’s a part of P&G that provides basic and critical services to the business which they then choose to buy or not – this includes IT, Market Measurements, Consumer Market Knowledge, etc. This means the Archives must be particularly agile and responsive to business needs and requests.

Regarding how I found my position…having grown up in Cincinnati I wanted to work at P&G as the company is a great contributor to the community. When I became aware of Ed Rider and the Corporate Archives as an undergrad history student I saw a unique opportunity. I had just gotten a job at P&G working part time while going to school, and began to stalk network with Ed. After graduation I took a job in Records Management and continued to plot a way into the Archives with the guidance of a number of mentors. I was in RM for 3 years (great experience- seriously!) when Ed was made my Associate Director and he moved me to the Archives as Processing Archivist. Seventeen years and a number of promotions later, I’ve reached my current position and am proud to carry the torch forward educating and inspiring P&G’s current generation of employees and partners.

Lessons learned include setting goals, strategizing and creating a plan that is reviewed and updated often, and networking networking networking

Greg McCoy
Senior Archivist, P&G

What is your title as an archivist for a business?
Brand Archivist and Historian

Where does the archives report in your organization?
The archive at Carhartt is officially organized under Human Resources. It reports directly to the Senior VP of Human Resources, however, regular updates are given to the entire Senior Leadership Team.

How did you find your current position?
I was hired by the archival/asset management company Allied Vaughn and was eventually placed on the contract they began with Carhartt. Carhartt was celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2014 and was inspired to begin a formal archive, as one had not existed before. They brought in Allied Vaughn for outside expertise and I spent the first period of the contract working part-time (while finishing my MA in History and Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration) with another Allied Vaughn employee to complete an inventory of the materials that had been saved. As the archive matured, my job expanded to include research and reference, acquisitions, involvement in marketing campaigns/the design process, and media relations, among many other duties. Carhartt eventually decided to bring management of the archive in-house, and I was hired directly by them in April of 2017.

Dave J. Moore
Brand Archivist and Historian, Carhartt, Inc.

My title is Archivist, even though I also function as de facto records manager. I found my current position through it being advertised in job postings of one or more professional organizations.

Joseph Coen
Archivist, R. C. Diocese of Brooklyn

My job title is Archivist. I work for a non-profit health system that includes a research hospital, so we have a medical library. It was the library director who had been tasked at one point in time with managing the “historical collection” – that is, a closet full of boxes and artifacts. Needless to say, she was busy enough and did not agree that this was the best scenario for access and preservation of the historical materials. As a librarian, she successfully advocated for the creation of our “Historical Archives” and FTE for an Archivist position in 2008. Therefore, organizationally I’m part of the Medical Library team; however, that team has been shifted around the organization several times. We currently report up through a brand new division, the “Learning, Innovation, and Simulation Center.” However, much of my work intersects with our Communications and Marketing teams.

I found this position via a direct email from the former library director, whom I had attended an SAA DAS course with. She had taken advantage of the class roster and emailed everyone when the position was posted. I wasn’t consciously job searching at the time, so I probably wouldn’t have seen the listing if she hadn’t reached out!

Jeni Spamer, MSI
Archivist, Virgina Mason

My current title is Admin IV/Records Coordinator; however after 7 months with the company, it will soon be changed to a specialist position which will be titled Spec III/Records Coordinator. My responsibility is to one department of the entire company, and it is within the generation side of power supply. I am solely accountable for collecting records from engineers, managing and creating structures in which to capture electronic documents, scanning paper and uploading these to the system, and archiving the historical records. I work closely with the department responsible for our corporate archives; Records and Information Management. After graduation I searched on numerous job boards, websites, and resources across the country for library and information positions. It wasn’t until I broadened my search to include the keyword “records” did I find my current position; which is why I strongly recommend adding Records Coordinator to anyone’s list of search terms when looking for employment.

Alicia Patterson
Records Coordinator / Admin IV, Portland General Electric

I am the Senior Archivist at NBCUniversal. My job responsibilities recently broadened and formerly I was the Senior Corporate Archivist. My department now reports to the Marketing and Publicity Department in the Studio Operations Division, but we serve as the central reference source of historic information for the entire company. I’ve been with NBCUniversal off-and-on for the past 15 years and started straight out of graduate school as an Archive Trainee in 2002. This was a long time ago, but I found the job on a listserv and applied via mail (as in stamped mail!). Luckily, my application and interview were strong enough to earn me the job.

In 2004, I transferred to DreamWorks SKG when an Archivist position opened up. My former colleague at NBCUniversal already transitioned to DreamWorks and put in a good word for me. After a two year stint there, my former supervisor’s position at NBCUniversal opened up after he was promoted to Director. Since I kept in close contact and maintained a good reputation with my colleagues at NBCUniversal, I was rehired in 2007 as the Archivist of Corporate Assets. Since then I’ve been promoted to my current position. I guess the moral of my job history story is not to burn your bridges and utilize your network.

Eric Chin
Senior Archivist, NBCUniversal