Big four “global accounting” firm donates archive collection to KSL


Freda Li/Observer

A sample of the Ernst and Young archives that were donated to the Kelvin Smith Library last month. Ersnt and Young is known as one of the “big four” professional services firms in the world.

Suneil Kamath, Staff Reporter

In August 2013, Ernst and Young donated its valuable archives collection to Case Western Reserve University’s Kelvin Smith Library. The archives contain memorabilia, photos, early transaction documents, advertisements and more.

Ernst and Young is known as one of the “big four” professional services firms in the world. Founded in 1849, Ernst and Young has played an important role in developing the accounting, banking and investment industry. Ernst and Young has been a prominent business in Cleveland, and over the years has grown into a company with over 167,000 employees and billions of dollars in revenue.

Jill Tatem is a university archivist and the Interim Head of special collections at KSL. According to Tatem, CWRU was able to acquire the assets because of the efforts of Dr. Gary Previts, the E. Mandell de Windt Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development at the Weatherhead School of Management, Lee Thomas, managing partner of the Cleveland Ernst and Young office, and Hank Kohout, an Ernst and Young associate director.

“They recognized the scholarly and community value of the institutional memory of this storied Cleveland firm,” said Tatem.

The archives might have a tremendous influence on CWRU’s faculty and students’ research.

“The Ernst and Young Archive represent an untapped collection of primary sources. We think faculty and students in a wide range of disciplines can use these materials to explore the kinds of issues faced by a business as it grew from a local to a global presence, how it responded and what the results were,” said Tatem.

The Ernst and Young archives are not the only special exhibit at KSL.

“Right now we have an exhibit in Hatch called Observing the Natural World. It started with the realization that our Biology Department was founded 125 years ago. It moves back through the 16th century, exploring how broader developments in natural history were reflected locally,” said Tatem.