Adkins, Elizabeth W.

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Elizabeth W. Adkins


Early Life


  • Bachelor of Arts in history, SUNY, Binghamton
  • Master of Arts in history, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Certified Archivist credential


  • Laird Norton Company (1981-1986)
  • Archives Specialist, Kraft Foods (1986-1987)
  • Archives Manager, Kraft Foods (1987-1996)
  • Manager of Archives Services (1996-2004?)
  • Director of Global Information Management, Ford Motor Company (2004?-Present)

Professional Contact Information[1]

 Elizabeth W. Adkins
 Director of Global Information Management
 14441 Rotunda Drive, Suite 180
 Dearborne, MI 48120, USA
 Telephone: (313)845-0556
 Fax: (313)248-4921

Professional Contributions

Investigatory report, possible use of Nazi forced labor by Ford-Werke in Cologne, Germany

Adkins responded to inquiries in 1998 by the BBC followed by a class action lawsuit against Ford "regarding the use of forced labor at Ford-Werke during World War II."[1] According to the suit, "Elsa Iwanowa, a Belgian citizen...said she was abducted from Russia as a teenager by the Nazis during World War II and forced to perform heavy labor at Ford-Werke in Cologne, Germany."[1] Ford responded by stating that while "the Ford Cologne plant was used to produce trucks for the Nazi government...the plant was under Nazi control during the war and not returned to Ford control until after the war by Allied military authorities."[1] Under additional scruitiny, Adkins "was asked to plan, organize and implement" an international "research effort to locate any documents that would shed additional light on the historical Ford-Werke before, during and immediately following the Nazi era."[1]. The lawsuit was dismissed, and the research report concluded that "By acknowledging its own history during a complex and ambiguous period of history, Ford has set a standard that could influence other companies to open their records to public scrutiny in the future" such that public access for corporate archives in a global economy will be necessary to "negotiate the difficult path between economic opportunity and social justice."[1]

Additional Contributions

  • Delegation Leader, Global Information Systems Professional Delegation to China, October 10 - 20, 2008. "A delegation of professionals specializing in global information systems has been selected to participate in bilateral exchanges with their professional counterparts in China, under the auspices of People to People Ambassador Programs."[1]
  • President, Society of American Archivists, 2006-2007
  • Fellow, Society of American Archivists, 2002 [1]
  • President, Academy of Certified Archivists, 1995-1996[1]
  • Vice President, Academy of Certified Archvists, 1992-1995[1]

Bibliography -- Primary Works, A Chronology

  • Adkins, Elizabeth W. 1989. The Booths and the Crawfords the story of two Northwest pioneer families. Seattle, Wash: E.W. Adkins?.
  • Jones, Cantelon, and Elizabeth W Adkins. 1995. "Corporate Archives and History: Making the Past Work". The American Archivist. 58 (2): 221.
  • Jones, Arnita A, Philip L Cantelon, and Elizabeth W Adkins. 1995. "Corporate Archives and History: Making the Past Work". Libraries & Culture. 30 (2): 226.
  • Adkins, Elizabeth W. 1997. "The Development of Business Archives in the United States: An Overview and a Personal Perspective". The American Archivist. 60 (1): 8.
  • "A history of the Ford Motor Company archives, with reflections on archival documentation of Ford of Europe's history.", n.d.[1998?]
  • Ford Motor Company Archives. 2001. Research findings about Ford-Werke under the Nazi regime.
  • "Setting the Record Straight: Holocaust Era Archival Research", International Conference on Archives, 2004.[1]
  • "Local History Versus Corporate History: Responsible Archival Management of International Subsidiaries of Multinational Corporations", Global Business, Global Cultural Heritage Conference, National Archives of Norway, June 8, 2004.[1]
  • "Developing & Implementing a Privacy & Personal Data Security Policy." ARMA Conference, 2007.[1]
  • "Preserve the Record, However Odious (1 Letter)". NYT. January 28, 2007


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