Kohler, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society is excited to announce that the Kohler Archives is the recipient of the Governor’s Archives Award: Archival Achievement Award for 2020.
“The Kohler Company is an example of how a corporation is committed to the creation and staffing of a corporate archive, including climate-controlled space for storage and exhibit space and programming to preserve and make the history of the Kohler Co. accessible to employees and others,” said Christian Overland, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “Kohler Company has also demonstrated its commitment to preservation and access of its history by sharing heritage content to audiences beyond the Kohler campus and by partnering with other local businesses on preservation and sharing of historic content.”
In 2017, the Kohler Company allocated funds to build a state of the art archives facility. The facility was planned with the help of the company’s archivist and several other staff archivists. The Kohler Archives officially opened in April 2019. The new archives facility includes display space and displays to date include: recently discovered artifacts, a tribute to Kohler’s connection to military service, a winter seasonal display of recreation equipment, and an exhibit celebrating Kohler Power group’s 100th anniversary.
In addition to the new space, the archives has worked to promote its collections through new associate tours, vendor and customer tours, and educational tours for area schools. The organization also hired a manager of storytelling to help distribute heritage content to audiences beyond the Kohler campus.
The Kohler Archives has also put a focus on using tools and methodologies for preserving digital content. Techniques include capturing Kohler websites and social media channels in real time, database access to digital archives, and collecting oral history interviews from retirees and staff upon the completion of significant projects.
Each year, the Wisconsin Historical Society’s governing Board of Curators recognizes individuals and organizations for meritorious work in areas relating to the Society’s mission. The Board of Curators is made up of thirty-seven elected and appointed members from across the state.
For information on award criteria, nominations and deadlines please visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.