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Job files: Corporate archivist

Marketplace Staff Jan 19, 2007
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Job files: Corporate archivist

Marketplace Staff Jan 19, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: This week on the job files, we meet a curator of sorts. But the pieces she cares for and displays aren’t done on canvas, they’re made of denim.


LYNN DOWNEY: My name is Lynn Downey and I am the company historian for Levi Strauss and Co. in San Francisco.

There are a lot of corporate archivists in the U.S. I just met the other day the archivist for QVC, the TV shopping network. I’ve always maintained that a business that doesn’t have an archive, it’s like being a person with amnesia. If you don’t know what you did in the past, you can’t make sound decisions.

I bought a pair of women’s jeans, lady levis from a woman in Georgia. These had been her grandmother’s pants. They were from about 1943. She sold them to me, you know, 10 or 11 years ago and about four years ago she called me and she said I’m in San Francisco can I come and visit grandma’s pants?

And those are the moments I love because these are not just inanimate objects to us. These were owned and worn and loved by people.

MOON: That Job Files was reported by Rachel Dornhelm.

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