IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2017 - 56
Traveling Through Time
PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMIE MARTIN
IBM archivist assists 'Hidden Figures' movie production with authentic artifacts
Jamie Martin manages the Corporate Archives at IBM,
helping preserve the history and heritage of the company.
is an intern with
t's easy to stow old belongings in an attic or on a shelf,
leave them to collect dust
and forget about them. But thanks
to Jamie Martin, IBM Corporate
Archives manager in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., this doesn't happen. She
and her team track IBM's history
and heritage through the count-
Explore valuable resources from the
company's history: ibm.com/ibm/history
to date with methods of storing
less paper records, photographs
and organizing information.
and items the company has accuShe also specializes in digital
mulated over the past 100 years.
archives, which is particularly
Recently, Martin assisted in
useful for IBM.
the production of the movie
"People think of archives as the
"Hidden Figures," which featured
old paper, the old photo or the
authentic IBM artifacts from the
box of treasures," Martin says.
Corporate Archives. "It was a
"But a lot of what we have now
huge project for us; we worked
is in a digital format. It's not in
with 20th Century Fox to provide
a box; it's on a server, or it's on
documentation and images of
someone's computer, and so it's
the IBM 7090 computer that was
critical for me to understand not
used at NASA during that time
only how to work with the
period. The original manuinformation of today, but
als were especially helpful
also make sure that it's
for understanding the
going to be here 20
process of operatyears from now."
ing this computer,
Martin is concomprehending
See a video
the messages and
of the IBM archives
codes, or looking at
items, but she's
the schematics of the
recently stumbled upon
IBM 7090 so they could
something particularly stagrecreate it for the film."
gering. "We found some original
Martin notes that every artifact,
hand-written equations for the
photo, film and document has
original calculations for Fortran,
a story behind it. "Somewhere
the programming language that
that story needs to be told. I love
has been hidden away for who
being able to just delve into that,
knows how long."
uncover those stories and help
Martin makes sure the connecpeople understand how they can
tion between past and present
is kept alive and well at IBM.
This career requires phenomeAfter all, what better way to look
nal organizational skills, patience
toward a company's future innoand passion-qualities Martin has
vations, than to look at the way
in abundance. She has a master
it has transformed in the past?
of library and information science
With archivists like Martin, IBM's
degree, and continuously attends
heritage will remain intact for
education courses at the Society
years to come.
of American Archivists to keep up
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