Camille Causse, an archivist in Paris, has a blog that should interest many business historians. Her most recent post is about the 160th anniversary of Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV), a grand Paris department store that is commemorating its history with a special exhibit on the fifth floor (see image below).
As Ms. Causse notes, the extent to which firms preserve their historical records varies considerably. For instance, while the archive of les Galeries Lafayette has been well preserved, other Paris department stores have thrown out old document. In 2014, the employees of BHV made a pleasant and surprising discovery: the found a cache of old documents stuffed into a space under the store’s famous rotunda. If put end to end, these documents would run for 250 metres. The company is now organizing and cataloging these archives so that it has a better sense of its own history.