In different parts of the world a small number of individuals, groups, and both public and private institutions are actively collecting and cataloging anarchist related materials. There are also others who have taken on the less exciting but equally essential task of maintaining older, established collections. And, while the motivation for acquiring these materials may vary somewhat for each, there is one thing they all have in common: a recognition of the importance of preserving the ideas and practice of anarchism, as recorded by its adherents, its sympathizers, and even - though opinions may differ on this point - its critics, so that these historical records may be of use to interested researchers and inquirers.
Anarchists have good reason to want their history preserved: so that we can learn what individual anarchists really thought and said without having to rely on another’s interpretation; be inspired by their accomplishments: and gain insight into their lives and desires. These collections allow us, as well as others, to learn from anarchism’s rich history.