Recent Documents List Has Emptied Itself

V, Win 8.1 - opened this morning to find the Recent Documents list empty (previously contained about 25 files .odt and .ods). It is repopulating as I create new documents, but why did it happen, and how can I stop it happening again? Is there any way of retrieving the previous list?

May I assume that - by whatever reason - you clicked the “Clear List” at the end of the Recent Documents" list.

Prevention in the future: Just be careful not to click “Clear List”.