The authors of the various chapters of this book come from corporate archives, public-sector institutions, and non-profit organizations in nine different countries across Europe, North America, and Asia. Regardless of whether or not English is their native language, the terminology and vocabulary they use when talking about archives can vary greatly. While no attempt was made by the editorial team to impose an overall cohesiveness of language on the various chapters, there was a desire to provide a tool to tease out the similarities and differences between the chapters, to tie the book into a stronger whole while also making it a more useful and easy-to-use resource. It was from this desire that the decision to create an index was born.
In drafting the indexes, an attempt was made to strike a balance between the individual character and subject matter unique to each chapter and larger common concepts or themes shared between chapters. For example, the index contains specific terms such as “sales records” and “sample books” that are discussed only in Chapter 2 by Naomi Aoki, or environmental issues and “slow steaming” discussed only by Henning Morgen in Chapter 1. The index also, however, contains larger concepts or themes such as the value of archives and records as a resource or the provision of information or services by corporate archives.
For the most part the variety of terminology used by individual authors has been retained. Thus, although the title of the book refers to “business archives,” the general index contains listings for “company archives” and “corporate archives” in addition to that for “business archives.” To make a variety of similar terms easier to find, however, listings such as the various types of archives have been grouped together under a common heading. The heading “archives,” therefore, contains the three terms mentioned above as well as a range of other types of archives and themes related to archives. This has been done to preserve the various terms used throughout the book, but also to demonstrate the vast variety available. For example, the long listing of types of records, some of which might seem similar, has been included in full to show the sheer number of different types of records and ways in which the authors refer to and classify records.
The inclusion of the lengthy listing of the various types of value that archives and records can contribute to their parent organizations has a similar reason. For example, while the term “nostalgic value” may have only been mentioned once briefly, it has been included in the index along with all the other types of value to demonstrate the vast array of types of value and ways in which business archives are being used and corporate archives are contributing to their parent organizations around the world. The concept of the multi-faceted value of business archives was, after all, the main theme of the international symposium held in Tokyo in May 2011, at which the majority of the chapters in this book were presented.
There are, however, instances where similar ideas and terms have been amalgamated for clarity and to demonstrate the continuity in ideas between the different chapters. For example, although none of the chapters contain the specific term “value added,” it is listed in the index with six mentions in the text. Checking the text reveals discussions of “added value,” “adding value,” “added benefit,” and “enhanced value.”
Certain common themes and concepts found in the index were recognized by participants, organizers, and attendees at the Tokyo symposium. In particular, the historical value of corporate archives or the connection between archives and corporate values, were recognized as ideas that were found in multiple presentations or throughout the presentations as a whole. There were other shared concepts, however, that only became evident in the course of preparing the indexes, long after the symposium itself. The common theme of a discussion of the role of past, retired, or retiring employees in the creation or maintenance of corporate archives and records, for example, was realized as the index took shape.
Thus it is the hope of the editorial and index team that not only will the indexes make it easier for readers to find specific topics, individuals, companies, or other information within the book, but that a look through the general index will provide readers with an idea of some of the issues and concepts important to business archives around the world today.