WELCOME TO OUR ARCHIVES PAGE: Why does an anonymous program need archives?
Carl Sandburg explained “why” very well when he wrote, “Whenever a society or a civilization perishes, there is always one factor present: they forgot where they came from.” A.A. co-founder Bill W. was aware of the confidentiality difficulties that could face A.A.’s archives collections. Nonetheless, he perceived the need for preserving A.A.’s past, and had the vision to see that historical accuracy and anonymity were not incompatible. Noting in a letter dated 1957 that A.A.’s past was “still veiled in the deep fog,” he expressed a desire to preserve the Fellowship’s original documents and artifacts. “We are trying,” he wrote, “to build up extensive records that will be of value to future historians…. It is highly important that the factual material be placed in our files in such a way that there can be no substantial distortion.” Only through the systematic maintenance of our written, permanent historical record can we prevent distortion and remember where we came from.
Below are downloadable PDF's. Please do not hesitate to contact our Archive Chair, Suzy S
or our Area 34 Archivist Mike Y with any questions pertaining to Archives.