George Cory, the eminent historian whose name is embodied at the Cory Collection at the Rhodes University Library wrote these words in his introduction to Barbers of the Peak by Ivan Mitford-Barberton:
It is no more than the grateful duty of a succeeding generation to revere the memory of those who bore the heat and burden of the days long gone. But better than merely holding in one’s memories of departed heroes is the placing on permanent record the account of their lives and works.
The importance of recording history is an ancient as history itself. Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote:
Not to know what happened before we were born is to remain perpetually a child. For what is the worth of human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history.
And we are reminded of this too by contemporary writers. The Canadian novelist, Margaret Attwood, wrote:
The past no longer belongs only to those who lived in it; the past belongs to those who claim it, and are willing to explore it and infuse it with meaning for those alive today.