19 Feb 2008

Harvard Business School Launches Institutional Memory Website Commemorating Centennial

Multimedia Site Captures History of School Through Stories, Experiences

BOSTON— As part of its Centennial celebration, Harvard Business School (HBS) today launched the Institutional Memory website. The interactive, multi-media site captures the history of the School through personal narratives and recollections of generations of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Celebrating Harvard Business School's first hundred years, the site "provides a personal perspective on the School's development and accomplishments, including the many innovations it created in both teaching and research," said Mary Lee Kennedy, Executive Director of Knowledge and Library Services. "Our vision is to tell the story of Harvard Business School--and its pioneering role in management and leadership education and research--through the accounts of the people who know it best. Through audio and video recordings, text and photos, we want to hear from as many people as possible about their experiences at the School."

Nearly a year in the making, the content-rich site is designed with simple, intuitive navigation. Visitors can browse and comment on existing content and easily add new narratives and photographs from virtually anywhere on the site.

The Institutional Memory site features three main sections:

  • "Inquiry and Innovation: 1908 - 2008," a lively, multimedia presentation chronicling the School's first 100 years. Based on A Delicate Experiment: The Harvard Business School 1908-1945 and other historical accounts, this section focuses on the answers to four important questions long considered by HBS leaders as they have guided the School toward fulfilling its mission of educating leaders who make a difference in the world:

    • What makes management a profession?

    • How are people and institutions transformed?

    • What makes institutions strong?

    • What knowledge stimulates growth?

  • HBS community narratives showcasing remembrances of life at the School and interviews with HBS leaders focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and other areas where the School has long conducted pioneering research.

  • An interactive timeline illuminated by video and audio clips, images, and artifacts from the School's extensive archives. By clicking on an entry, users can read synopses of defining events, topics, and people at HBS over the past 100 years; listen to an account of the life of George Fisher Baker (1840-1931), the New York banker and philanthropist who donated $5 million to build the HBS campus; or take an in-depth look at the first issue of Harvard Business Review, published in 1922. Visitors to the site also can add their own entries to the timeline, placing themselves in the history of HBS.

"This site gives people with a tie to HBS an opportunity to contribute to the history of the School in a personal and unique way," said Melissa Shaffer, leader of the Centennial Institutional Memory Project.

The Institutional Memory site links to the School's Centennial website, which contains information about other events and activities planned to commemorate the centennial through 2008, both in this country and around the world. Among the highlights will be a campus-wide celebration and convocation on April 8, marking the School's official birthday, and a Global Business Summit in October.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.