BC tip: Yara - Impressive timeline

A history timeline has a strong narrative style and makes effective use of archive material.

The Feature

‘The History of Yara’, a feature on the Norwegian fertiliser’s corporate website, has a concise overview and 14 sections, which include ‘Our History at a glance’ and summaries of different eras, eg 1900-1905, 1920-1939.

The sections are laid out so visitors can browse for an overview, or read more deeply as required. For example, ‘1900-1905’ has a paragraph introduction, then summary boxes with links to six longer articles, with more detail on the era. The summary boxes and stories are illustrated with archive images.

The Takeaway

The feature stands out for its narrative style, which tells the story almost like a novel. For example, the article, ‘A little bit of Norway – and more’, starts with: ‘The country was hungry not only for renewal and impulses, but also for symbols of new and better times ahead.’

Interesting details and techniques also bring the company’s history to life. For example, the fact that Nitrogen fertilizer is ‘Norgessalpeter’ in Norwegian. Or the use of dialogue in ‘Our History at a glance’: ‘In the course of the dinner [between the company founders] Eyde said: “What I want is the most powerful electrical discharge on earth…” to which Birkeland replied: “This I can get for you!”

Later articles have links to other material on the website, such as the new CEO’s biography. It is a rich resource, telling Yara’s story with literary panache; and is effective without using elaborate technology.

http://yara.com/about/history/