Before I describe the work of the Business Archives Council I may perhaps be allowed to refer to my personal approach to the matters we are discussing here today, since my personal attitude is bound to colour all I have to say. I start from the position that whether we like it or not, and whatever we say here today, and whatever the business men of today do about it, the people of future generations will study history and write history. It is a study that satisfies something in our human nature—hosts of people, far outside the ordinary circles of scholarship, have a taste for history and will make some effort to satisfy that taste. And history has some educative value: it helps us to maintain a reasonable perspective when facing apparently novel situations. History will therefore continue to be written whether we do anything about business archives or not. The practical question is not between history and no history, but between history based on well‐assorted materials and history based on lop‐sided materials. For some materials will be preserved, in one way or another, particularly those relating to government and to legal questions, which have to be preserved for highly practical reasons. If business records are by‐and‐large destroyed, the picture drawn by future historians will be lop‐sided.
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