This isn't about genealogy; it is about business mergers, archives, and history. However, a casual attitude at any repository of historical significance is a cause for alarm for all who are interested in preserving history.
An article in the Newark, NJ Star-Ledger discusses the possible fate of the AT&T Archives, which is a huge, irreplaceable, historical repository of most of the advancements of late 19th and 20th century communications. The archives include such things as long-distance telephone directories from the mid-1890s, which contain every long distance subscriber in the country, including Alexander Graham Bell himself. When SBC acquires AT&T's assets, invaluable items at risk include old telephone directories and the hand-written notes of Walter Brattain, who later shared a Nobel Prize for inventing the transistor, as well as much, much more.
"They'll drag in the dumpster," says A. Michael Noll, a communications professor at the University of Southern California and former scientist with AT&T's Bell Labs in Murray Hill. "One thing we know about mergers -- the survivor has to destroy the DNA of the victim. They have to destroy that identity. You can't have people thinking they're still part of AT&T. They're part of SBC."
You can read the full article on the Star-Ledger's web site.