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2005 04 05
imageArchivists are the foundation upon which heritage rests. They document people, places and things, actions and reactions, the commonplace and the spectacular. As such they support the many facets of heritage exploration, discovery and expression. Stored in special facilities, also called archives, they are unique records of enduring value – the documentary legacy of one generation to another. Archives take many forms from clay and papyrus records of ancient civilizations to modern computer records.

To imagine a world without archives is to see a nation, a city, a people without a soul. Lacking a collective memory there can be no consensus of values. Without the self-confidence of understanding who we are, what shaped us, what makes us similar or dissimilar to other, we cannot hope to graft new stock that will enrich and strengthen the existing cultural roots.

To deal with the present, to plan for he future, we must understand our collective past. Insights gleaned from archives can illuminate the forces that shaped our ancestors and the challenges that tempered their aspirations. Each succeeding generation can understand itself in the ontinuum of history by visiting and re-interpreting its archival heritage and in turn by maintaining the archival legacy.

Mark Hopkins
Director of Records
[email this story] Posted by Brad Golden / Lynne Eichenberg on 04/05 at 08:06 AM

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