Kezia, Archiving Assistant LEGO Group Archives, has an important role supporting our corporate historians and other LEGO® colleagues, but because of the nature of her work, very few people know the specifics of her daily job… or even where it’s located! We had the pleasure of interviewing Kezia about her role – and trying to get a few secrets out of her along the way.
First, what does your job as an Archiving Assistant entail?
"Our team is responsible for preserving the corporate archives, so as you can imagine, we spend a lot of time sorting, scanning and filing paper records as well as supporting the corporate historians on their projects. But we also maintain a product archive, and sometimes we’ll be asked to build old models for the LEGO House History Collection or other corporate displays, or for our designers to use as reference materials for new products.
"When you’re filing, you get to read the materials and come across lots of different dialogues. Along the way, we’ve had a lot of laughs, and also lots of “ah-ha” moments where we learn something new or find a piece of LEGO history that we didn’t have yet. Most of it is secret, so unfortunately I can’t give specifics, but I can say that we have fun."
Speaking of secrets, very few people know about your department, and in some ways that's by design, right?
"That’s true, not many people know about us. We are a need-to-have department for preserving corporate history, but since we’re a bit secretive about our jobs in order to protect important and irreplaceable materials, many people don’t realise how much our work contributes to the heritage of the business.
It’s especially important for new colleagues to learn where our corporate values and beliefs originated so that they buy into them. Since I sit with the actual documents, I can see that these values are not just legends that got passed down… they really reflect what the founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen stood for and what has been passed down through the years."
Are there any specific examples that stick out in your mind?
"One time I came across a series of letters from a Danish pastor in Canada, written in the 1980s or 1990s. The pastor remembered playing with LEGO bricks as a child, so he wrote to the Canadian office asking if they could donate bricks for the children’s play area in the church. When the office declined his request, the pastor wrote another letter directly to Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, who was CEO at the time, expressing his disappointment because we hadn’t lived up to our values as a company. Not only did Kjeld send two boxes of LEGO bricks to the church, but he also wrote a personal apology and thanked the pastor for remembering LEGO bricks from his childhood.
"There are many stories like this one that just make me think “Wow!” because they reveal the true heart of the company and how colleagues have lived these values out over the years. There’s so much depth to explore in our corporate history!"
What's your favourite part of your job?
"We do so many different tasks, and of course it’s fun building models, but actually my favourite part of the job is filing documents. When I'm filing and making sure that things are put in the right place so that everything is in order, that makes me happy."
So you’re like the Marie Kondo of the archives in a way?
"In a way, yes! It brings me joy seeing good quality in our filing system."
In today’s world where corporate records and correspondence are created digitally, how does the team manage these records?
"We have an extensive digital archiving system including the older documents that have been scanned and uploaded, digitally created files, and even some business-critical emails. We’re always collecting new bits of corporate history."
At what point do you think the archiving work will be finished and you’ll focus solely on collecting new records?
"I don’t know if we’ll ever be finished! Colleagues are always bringing us more materials, especially when departments are relocated or restructured. As teams from around Billund moved into LEGO Campus, we sometimes received whole truckloads full of boxes to sort and file. So as long as colleagues keep uncovering historical gems, we’ll always have more to do."