The History & Archives Center of Nationwide Insurance

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November 18, 2013 by J. Johnson

NationwideThe History & Archives Center of Nationwide Insurance is located in downtown
Columbus. Our mission is to make our collections accessible, relevant, and valuable for
Nationwide’s business decisions.

Nationwide has been collecting historical records since our 25th anniversary celebration in 1951. The archives were managed by a librarian until the mid-1990s when a records manager consolidated the archives with the other official records of the company and placed it in off-site storage. Due to the demand for historical resources and information, the archives, as a separate department, was re-established in 2006 and brought back to the headquarters. Currently, the History & Archives Center is staffed by three people: Steve Hausfeld, Manager of Library and Archives; Mandy Reese, Corporate Archivist; and Sadie Allen, Contract Archivist. The archives are a sister department to the Nationwide Library and both fit structurally within Nationwide’s Office of Marketing.

We have approximately 1,700 linear feet of records in a climate-controlled storage room adjacent to our office space and exhibit area. Our collections include a variety of materials: paper, movie films, photographs, sound recordings, and artifacts that represent a wide range of dates from 1759 to present day. The bulk of our collection dates from the 1920s through the 1990s. We not only collect materials associated with Nationwide Insurance, but materials from all of our subsidiary companies.

The archives are private and available only to Nationwide employees. However, outside
research requests will be considered. Our main users are associates in the Marketing,
Strategy, Sponsor Relations, Communications, and Creative Services departments. We
do historical research reports and presentations. Examples of our research include:
brand history, evolution of our services and products, and the history of our leaders.
We also provide tours of the archives and exhibits we design. Last year, we gave tours
to over 1,000 associates. Telling the history of Nationwide is a tool we use to educate
and engage our associates in their work. We make Nationwide’s history a source of
pride for our associates.

We use Nationwide’s internal social media network, Yammer, to post facts about our
collections and to start conversations about history. This has been a successful way for
us to stay connected to our associates working in other locations throughout the
country. The social media site functions the same as a Facebook site, but is limited to
only our associates. We have been recognized by Nationwide’s Information Technology
Collaboration Department for our social media efforts. We created a Nationwide
Heritage Month for the month of April as another way to promote our collections and
bring awareness to the services we provide.

This article was included in the OLC SSCD Fall 2013 Newsletter

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