Each year, the Corporate History Affinity Group has at least one session, a tour, and a luncheon at AASLH’s annual meeting. In previous years, sessions have ranged from how to handle history during a business merger, how corporate archives and museums can work with non-corporate museums, and how to ensure your corporate history collection can make it through tough times. This year, the meeting was in Birmingham, commemorating fifty years since the start of the Civil Rights movement.
Naturally, the topic of the meeting revolved around diversity.
To tie in with the meeting’s theme, we presented a session about corporate diversity programs. Our first speaker was Jamal Booker, the Manager of Heritage Communications at the Coca-Cola Company. Jamal spoke about his research with soda fountains and how Coca-Cola has been using this research in its diversity programs. I spoke next about how Delta Air Lines has grown from a small southern airline to an international business, and how that has brought in a new wave of visitors to our museum. Scarlet Pressley-Brown, Vice President of Marketing for the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, rounded out our session by speaking about how her museum is growing with the help of corporate support.
In addition to the session, we had a personal tour of the Alabama Power’s corporate archives (thank you Bill Tharpe!), and a joint luncheon with the Visitor’s Voices Affinity Group featuring Peggy Dalman, Market Research Manager at the Biltmore Company. Both the tour and the luncheon were fun and educational.
If you couldn’t make to the AASLH meeting this year, please keep next year open! These corporate history programs are a great way to make network connections and learn about other corporate collections.
Tiffany Meng, Chair, AASLH Corporate Archives Group
Director, Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum