Preservation of archives is the means by which the survival of selected material is ensured for enduring access.
Perceptions that archivists preserved materials just for the sake of it are out of date and incorrect, if indeed they were ever correct; preservation and access are two parts of the same mission.
Without sustained preservation activity it would not be possible to satisfy the myriad of users worldwide who beat a path to the door of archives and record offices, or who search for information on the web.
Using archives has become a popular pastime for young and old, whether they are researching family history, requesting information under Freedom of Information Acts or pursuing historical facts.
This increasing trend is unlikely to reverse and more than ever organizations must ensure that the material will be available, not only to the current generation but also to those of the future. Organizations must, as a matter of policy, look beyond their immediate requirements and utilize strategies and techniques to ensure that the originals, or if that is impossible the information contained in them, will be available for as long as needed.
Preserving Archives, 2nd edition by Helen Forde and Jonathan Rhys-Lewis is designed to give readers the tools to manage preservation issues; it is not a manual on how to cope with every eventuality as these differ widely and advice for one archive might be quite inappropriate for another. Alongside this is the key intention; to act as a lead and guide for the varying needs, questions and research of fellow professionals charged with the responsibility of preservation.