Letter: Future history

Sir: On 24 September you carried two unrelated reports which underline the importance of archives both as contemporary evidence and as future historical source material. There may seem little obvious link between the weeding of Secret Service files and alleged attempts to subvert the archives of the Tate, but they are both components of a complex web of which we must ensure the future survival in a trustworthy form.

Why is it that we find in effect no discussion of archives in the Comprehensive Spending Review document issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which has a major responsibility in this area, but seems either unable or unwilling to accept that archives are distinct from the library and museum sectors and that different steps must be taken to ensure that the right records are preserved and are made available to the public?

FIONA JACKSON

Preston, Lancashire

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