Kenneth Foote notes in his seminal book on memorials Shadowed Ground that, "Every society in every period has borne witness to war, disaster, violence and tragedy." The universal nature of conflict is, of course, well known, so it is perhaps not surprising that, as with many other institutions of society, archives have been impacted by human violence and destruction. Indeed, the birth of the archival profession is often closely associated with one of the most important wars in history-the French Revolution of 1789. In the aftermath of the revolution, the new French government sought to make the records of the republic open to the people of France for the first time, in the process creating the first National Archives and establishing modern archival principles. It is perhaps fitting then, that the modern archival profession should consider its roots in conflict, since war and archives have consistently interacted throughout history, albeit in many different ways.
Nugent, Patricia A.,
"Battlefields, Tools, and Targets: Archives and Armed Conflict,"
Provenance, Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists
Available at: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol23/iss1/4