The archival holding is the essential matter in the construction of a history of any of the intellectual disciplines. In itself the archival unit is devoid of bias, dishonesty, and ignorance. It establishes priority in the matter of scientific accomplishment, while it facilitates philosophy and the scale of a history. Hence the resort to the quest for archival data in those countries where geographer activities have been recorded and exchanged in correspondence with U.S. personnel. These collections may be very large or small; they may be held privately or in university “special collections,” in geographical societies, in local or national libraries, or in national archives. Too often accumulations of correspondence, notes, papers, et al. are lost or destroyed, as some geographers prefer posthumous privacy, and with the destruction goes a part of our history which is irreplaceable. What has remained to us is, however, large in amount, well maintained, and of significance to the geographer. It is from these collections (both at home and abroad) that we are able to reconstruct a more accurate history of our field of learning.
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