Accion Establishes Official Organizational Archives at Tufts

Tufts University to Preserve and Provide Access to Records of Boston-based International Microfinance Organization

Sep 13, 2012, 10:00 ET from Accion

BOSTON, Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Accion®, a pioneer and leader in global microfinance, today announced the establishment of its official archives, to be housed within Tufts University's Digital Collections and Archives.

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Accion was founded in 1961 to empower the poor with the knowledge and tools to improve their lives. Launched as a grassroots community development initiative in 22 shantytowns in Venezuela, Accion is today one of the premier microfinance organizations in the world, with a network of lending partners that spans Latin America, Africa and Asia, and is also the largest microfinance network in the United States.  Accion and Tufts University share a history of collaboration that dates back to the mid-1960s.

In creating the archives, Accion will ensure the preservation of its rich historical records, while also making them available to the public. The archives serve as a permanent home to corporate documents, financial and statistical data, strategic plans, publications, photographs, memorabilia, websites and other media that define Accion as a unique organization and as a pioneer in the evolution of the microfinance industry.

According to Accion President and CEO Michael Schlein, the new archives will provide a trove of primary source material for researchers exploring the early history of microfinance (Accion made its first microloan in 1973), as well as nonprofit development efforts in Latin America, where all its efforts were focused until the 1990s.  The archive will also provide a space—both digital and physical—where past, current and future Accion staff, partners and others can explore and learn from the organization's long history.

"Accion has accomplished much in its 51 years of international development and financial inclusion," said Schlein. "It's a story worth telling and sharing, and the archive will preserve that story in perpetuity. It will be of tremendous value, and we are deeply grateful to Tufts for ensuring its preservation."

Tufts University established its archives—now the Digital Collections and Archives—in 1964 and now holds more than 4,300 cubic feet of records, as well as university and student publications from Tufts.  It is also the repository for manuscript collections by Tufts faculty, alumni, affiliated individuals, and organizations such as Accion. In addition to documenting the history of Tufts, its holdings are strong in environmental studies, theater history, international affairs, broadcast history, and literature.

"The archives support the teaching and research mission of Tufts University by ensuring the enduring preservation and accessibility of the university's permanently valuable records and collections," said Anne Sauer, director of the Tufts Digital Collections and Archives.

"The Accion collection contributes to our mission to catalogue, care for and provide access to records that have a cultural and academic importance," Sauer continued.  "We're looking forward to working with Accion to create a comprehensive collection that will serve as a resource for individuals interested in any aspect of the organization's history and operations."

Those interested in learning how to donate materials to the Accion archives, or seeking more information, may contact Bruce MacDonald at Accion, at 617-616-1546, or at

About Accion
Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world, with access to economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. World pioneers in microfinance, over the last 50 years Accion has helped build 62 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on four continents. Those institutions are currently reaching millions of clients. The Accion U.S. Network is the largest microfinance network in the country and, since inception, has served hundreds of thousands of clients with loans and support. For further information, visit

®Accion is a registered trademark of Accion International.