The Kadoorie family has been in Hong Kong for four generations, arriving via a few other stop-offs as Iraqi Jews from Baghdad. The lives and businesses of the Kadoories are interwoven into the tapestry of Hong Kong's history. Two years ago Sir Michael Kadoorie began a history project to gather interviews in a bid to capture some of the history of ordinary people in the city before it is too late - resulting in the Hong Kong Heritage Project. But there is concern among historians and researchers that, without an archives law, much of Hong Kong's history is going to disappear forever, and the project's director is one of several calling for the introduction of an archives law. Sir Michael decided to initiate and fund the Hong Kong Heritage Project, a continuing research project that has resulted in a website ( www.hongkongheritage.org ), more than 280 interviews with Hong Kong-related people and thousands of boxes of dusty files that a team of Kadoorie employees are gradually working their way through and will be for years to come. The results have been oral and video interviews of people directly or indirectly connected to Kadoorie businesses - for example, textile workers who in the 1960s worked in Kadoorie factories, interviews with village heads in the New Territories and many others. Peter Greenwood, the project's director, said: 'Sir Michael has been increasingly concerned that many of the personal memories - pre-war and after the second world war - were being lost simply through the passage of time. And then we had the controversy and demonstrations around the Star Ferry, and it reminded him of the strong affinity that the Hong Kong people have for their own heritage. It wasn't just that of the older generation; it was also of younger people.' However, Mr Greenwood is concerned that, without an archive law, many of the city's artefacts and historical and oral archives are at risk of disappearing forever. One of the Kadoorie businesses, China Light & Power, helped sponsor a day-long seminar to discuss the lack of an archive law in Hong Kong, held recently by Civic Exchange, the think-tank of founder and chief executive Christine Loh Kung-wai. Mr Greenwood said it was imperative that Hong Kong had an archive law and it was surprising that it lacked one considering that many countries - including China - do. Ms Loh agrees. 'We have so many cases of records mismanaged. There have been recent cases of hospitals losing records, police and customs officers taking records home. 'When a file is no longer live, it becomes an archive, and it is a really a critical part of a government's function to preserve that. 'What's happened to the records from Tung Chee-hwa's time in office? Are they here, [or] in Beijing? We do have a lot of experienced archivists, we have the money, it's not that we have an inexperienced bureaucracy. We have all the conditions to implement [an archives law] quickly.' Local historian Dan Waters, 88, also wants to see an archives law introduced. The past president of the Royal Asiatic Society, he recalls that when Australian Ian Diamond founded the Public Records Office in 1976 'he said he expected there would be an archives law within 10 years - but it hasn't materialised'.