There is an emerging interest in the history of market research in the United Kingdom, as seen by the creation of the Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR—www.amsr.org.uk). Although the archive is at an early stage, its rapid development highlights how little focus there has been on analyzing the history of the sector. With the exception of historical reflection associated with anniversaries, such as Ian Blythe's (2005) book written for the 50th anniversary of the Market Research Society (MRS), there has been limited interest in systematically exploring the past.

Although professional associations or large companies often establish formal archives, the ASMR is a rare case in seeking to represent a whole sector. That it is grown so quickly through the efforts of a voluntary team is also notable. However, for an archive to be of value it must not just exist but be used. In this viewpoint, we explore the question of why practicing market researchers and managers should care about the history of market research.