It is clear that there is a continuing haemorrhage of historically valuable documents through random sale to the highest bidder, and that there is a need for an agency to control such degeneration of the national heritage. Such an agency, preferably part of a government department, would aim at: identifying the owners of archival material with high heritage value; advising them about appropriate national repositories to which it might be sold, if not actually donated; arranging for independent valuation of such collections; and facilitating the flow of heritage funds for the acquisition of archives by approved institutions.
By firm but judicious action such an agency could rapidly improve the condition of our heritage archives, and establish public access to them for posterity.
R ANGUS BUCHANAN
Emeritus Professor of the History of Technology
School of Social Sciences
University of BathReuse content