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Lehman, the financial crash, and the making of history
Archivists typically select around 5 per cent of organisational records, such as board minutes, public statements and strategy papers, for long-termpreservation, according to Vicki Lemieux, an associate professor in archival studies at the University of British Columbia. But, given the repercussions and public importance of the crisis, she says: “The decision on what records are retained shouldn’t be a technocratic function undertaken by archivists alone, without some wider social consultation.”
It is not just academics who want to preserve the records. The European
network of financial institutions, hopes to persuade bank boards to
preserve historically significant records. “The first step is to ensure the important parts of the archive are kept. But, in due time [after closure periods of perhaps 30-50 years] we hope the banks will make them accessible to researchers,” says Ines van Dijk, a document specialist at the Dutch central bank, who sits on an EABH committee looking at legislation affecting finance archives.