This chapter explains that counter-archival sensibility is a sensibility informed by the belief that we live in 'broken time', a time when the role once played by tradition has been, in the wake of catastrophe, assumed by archives. Archives assure us of continuity between past and future, preserving the past and legitimating the authorities of the present. 'Modernity' refers to both a historical period and a cultural phenomenon. The tradition Walter Benjamin saw broken in his lifetime was instituted in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century when the archive was established as a symbol of truth, plausibility, and authenticity. During the second half of twentieth century, empiricist approaches to history such as those prescribed by August Compte and Leopold von Rank were seriously challenged. The power exercised in the construction and manipulation of the archive is made more complicated by the observation that the choice to find something worth archiving need not be a conscious one.