Oct 07, 2011 • By

Diggin’ in the Archives

Where can you see a portrait of Betty Crocker wearing a green jacket?

How about a prehistoric bone discovered while excavating land for one of the buildings at General Mills’ headquarters?

Or a Wheaties telescope that saved a boy’s life?

In the General Mills Archives, that’s where!

The Archives team, at our headquarters, is celebrating National Archives month in October.

The General Mills Archives provides a secure place where historically significant and valuable noncurrent records are preserved, organized and made available to further the study and understanding of the company’s corporate vision and legacy.

But even the Archives has a history.

It began in 1980 when artifacts were collected to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Gold Medal flour. One woman, who worked in the Law department, felt inspired to preserve the information. Her first storage areas included closets, desk drawers and filing cabinets.

Now in a dedicated space, the General Mills Archives are located in the lower level of the main building on our campus. The area houses historical assets in a humidity and temperature-controlled environment that occupies more than 3,000 square feet.

The department is one of hundreds of corporate archives in the United States and one of the more than 20 business archives in Minnesota.

Our Archives team will host an open house for employees next week to mark National Archives month.

On average, our Archives staff receives and responds to about 60 requests per month. These range from walk-ins to calls and emails, and usually are balanced with half from within General Mills and half from the general public.

Employees use the resources of the Archives to help answer questions and drive business. Brand team members may be looking for newsletters, company publications or packaging. The Law team may be looking for product packaging or specific dates, while external researchers and educators may need a date or image from a cookbook, or a scan from promotional, marketing or advertising materials.

The Archives receives contributed materials each year from employees, retirees and the public.

If you have something interesting that you want to donate, give us a call at 763-764-2082 or email us.