The Archive Advantage

12 07 2017

I am currently co-supervising an excellent PhD student who is doing a case studentship in the archive of a UK-based banking group. (A case studentship is PhD research that is jointly funded by a private-sector partner and a research council, in this case the AHRC). We had a meeting yesterday to talk about the student’s progress towards his PhD (see picture). The student’s research is helping to develop our understanding of how having an archive contributes to the overall performance of the company in a variety of ways. In essence, this case study will document the ways in which a corporate archive can create a competitive advantage for a firm. The result will be knowledge that will be useful to both academics and to managers.


Although the student’s research is just about one company, I believe that his research findings may be generalizable to other firms. As I observed to the archivists yesterday, corporate archives in the UK are generally well developed relative to other countries. I suspect that this is an important source of competitive advantage for these firms, and for UK plc as a whole.



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