How I became a corporate historian

Historians in the News
tags: history crisis

More than ever, brands want to showcase how authentic they are. Enter Tracey Panek

Historian Tracey Panek is director of archives, at Levi Strauss & Co. She reveals what it takes to preserve a brand’s history – and why it needs to be done in the first place.

What is the role of a corporate historian?

A corporate historian researches about the company’s history, documents and archives it. We also have to answer historical questions and assist employees to understand the brand’s evolution.

How did you get interested in history, particularly corporate history?

From my childhood, I loved listening to stories. We are four siblings and at the dinner table there would be many stories. My parents migrated from New Zealand to the US and we especially enjoyed listening about their childhood and growing up years. That love for uncovering the past became a life-long passion. I graduated in history in 1995 from the University of California, Berkeley and I did my masters in history from California State University. I also did an internship at California State Archives where I got an insight into studying business history. My first job was in a communications company before doing a stint in the automobile sector.

Tell us how you started with Levi Strauss?

I knew the former historian of Levi’s, Lynn Downey, who was moving on to another project. I grabbed the opportunity and applied for the post. I joined the company in June 2014. ...

Read entire article at Friday Magazine

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