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Time to Honor and Time for Remembering
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About 280 companies listed as Time-honored Brands (an official title given to objects or places of significant cultural or historical relevance) are being encouraged to hand over their old documents and pictures to the Shanghai Archives.


This is a suggestion by the Shanghai China Time-honored Brand Association which has found many local brands have not kept enough historical material when they apply to be registered as a Time-honored Brand.


Together with the Shanghai Archives and the Shanghai Legislation Institute, the association hopes to store and preserve more of the rare archives now kept by the businesses themselves.


"Time-honored brands face two main problems," said Shao Yuling, secretary-general of the association. "One is that businesses don't know what constitutes rare material and how to store it. Another problem is that often the rare material has been collected by one senior person in an organization who may not leave it with the company when he retires."


Without proper historical back-up, a lot of the businesses applying for the China Time-honored Brand are rejected, Shao said.


"There were 115 brands seeking the honor last year but only 51 were approved."


The famous Lao Da Fang Food Company applied for the Time-honored stamp of approval last year but failed to make the grade because it did not have enough documentation.


City departments are now working to look after Shanghai's famous brands. They are looking at appointing officers to help collect and store archival material, and train others in the work as well as introducing regulations.


Every business with a brand should have at least one senior official trained, Shao said, to ensure the history is collected and properly kept.


So far, more than 10 brands including the Sunya Restaurant, Three Gun, the Shanghai No. 1 Department Store and the Lao Fengxiang Jewelry Store have turned their archives including pictures, stock certificates, antiques and workshop instruments over to the Shanghai Archives.


(Shanghai Daily September 15, 2007)

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