Why British American released papers showing possible links to contraband sales remains a mystery.

GUILDFORD, England — This handsome town south of London is steeped in history. An 11th-century castle built by William the Conqueror overlooks the village center from a lovely hilltop park. The Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, is buried here.

On the outskirts is a no-frills two-story building packed with history of another sort. Known as the Guildford depository, it is a house of secrets, or former secrets, of the world’s second-largest tobacco company, British American Tobacco.

British American created the archive to hold millions of pages of documents produced for the anti- tobacco suit filed by the state of Minnesota in 1994. Most of the records involve health and marketing issues that were the crux of the lawsuit.

But embedded in the mountains of paper are fistfuls of memos on British American’s links to cigarette smuggling — documents that weren’t pertinent to the lawsuit and that the company never was asked to produce. It turned them over anyway, for reasons that remain a mystery.

Read more: http://articles.latimes.com/2003/nov/23/business/fi-guildford23