In his 1955 presidential address to the Society of Archivists, Hilary Jenkinson
speculated on the future of archives in England. Reﬂecting on a half-century working
with records interrupted by two world wars, he was alive to the impact that new
technologies were having on the conduct of business, ‘equipped with telephones,
motor cars and aeroplanes we are getting back to the oral, substituting it for written
communication’. He challenged those who argued that such developments made
‘it necessary to revise our views about the nature and treatment of Archives’.