Why have an Archive?

A waste of time, you may say, trivializing the hard work that the physicist/artist may have done so well. There is often no alternative, though; as astronomers we must struggle at the mercy of microphysics that we can't detect, and indeed struggle even to get the right geometry for the macrophysics, well observable but only at the whim of the object. These things do not happen in some basement physics laboratory (though there are interesting experiments aiming at this microphysics as best they can). We may need something like a theoretical interpolation formula, to try to anticipate observables as a help for instrument design. And, of course, to lead to a closer approximation of an actual theory at some point.

Perhaps you want to write a proposal, or must write a review - in such a case, you can skim through the Archive quite easily and probably find most of what's relevant across the community. The best of the cartoons actually may provide new ideas; this does not necessarily apply to the incessant CSHKP entries, which continue to be presented in the 2D domain well into the 21st century. The Archivist has also personally benefits from the overview he gets from entering and maintaining the collection, sometimes adding cross-links between related cartoons and generally appreciating the warm glow of superficial knowledge that cartoons can inspire.