Archives. When one thinks of archives, one usually thinks of something old and musty. If one has been to Washington, DC, the thoughts may turn to the monumental National Archives building between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, with the showpiece being a fading sheet of paper—the Declaration of Independence. But the past half century has seen the mushrooming of other archives throughout the country. Archives have been established not only in the federal, state, county, and city sectors, but also by universities, by religious bodies, and by corporations. It is in the last category where archives with some of the most interesting collections can be found,
Walt Disney was determined that his cartoons be of consistent high quality, so he poured all of his funds into the production of a series based on his new character. He hired capable animators, he took the time to plan funny and believable story situations, and he worked and reworked each cartoon until it was as good as he could make it. The care taken by Walt Disney and his staff was immediately evident. Mickey Mouse took the world by storm, and it wasn’t long before he was known from Texas to Timbuktu.
It takes a company a while to realize that it has a history, and this was true with the Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney died in 1966, and shortly thereafter, the company started thinking that perhaps something should be done to preserve his correspondence, his awards, and the items in his office. That was the time when I happened to be in the right place at the right time.