60% of Documentation for Modern Iraqi History Lost
Ash-Sharq al-Awsat/ AFP have an article on the impact of the looting last April after the fall of the regime on the documentation for modern Iraqi history. The article maintains that 60% of the documents are gone, most of them burned. The loss is especially extensive for the period of the constitutional monarcy, 1921-1958, a period during which there were at least sometimes fairly open parliamentary elections. I hope to find or translate the entire article at some point.
Note that US conservatives like Charles Krauthammer attempted to maintain last summer that the looting and loss of Iraqi history had been exaggerated.
As a historian of Iraq myself, I can’t tell you how it hits me in the gut to have so much of the documentation gone. It means that we will never be able to recover the indigenous side of many developments now known only from the British archives, with their colonial biases.