Archives are about preserving the past
so that we, as well as our future generations, can rediscover it. History is a mirror that shows us our past successes and failures, and it’s in these experiences that we find inspiration for new ideas and the confidence to face tomorrow’s challenges. An archive’s role, then, is to collect and manage these remnants of the past, and provide access to them to anyone who wishes to take a look into this mirror. In a way, it also breathes new life into the historical materials, which we continue to appreciate, reinterpret and pass on from generation to generation.
For a company, an archive houses its corporate memory.
It gives weight to a brand’s identity, which is a powerful asset that sets it apart from other organisations. This idea wasn’t new for Swire; since the 1970s, our London headquarters have been depositing their archives at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in University of London. Our Archive in Hong Kong, however, is the first and only one that we run in-house in Asia, and it’s been a learning process for all of us.
In a sense, our group’s heritage is also part of Hong Kong’s history.
Swire has over 200 years of history and we’ve been in Hong Kong since 1870. Over the past century and a half, the group has undergone a great transformation – from a sugar refinery
and a dockyard in Quarry Bay to a giant in property, aviation, food and beverages and more – and so has Hong Kong. Our companies play key roles in developing our region, so we recognise it as our social responsibility to preserve our heritage, by managing and growing our archives for the community. Of course, from an administrative point of view, the Archive also benefits our staff by providing a centralised archives management system for all our operating companies in Asia.