What are archives?

What are archives?

Archives are:

  • Records created or received by an individual, family or organisation (such as a government, cultural association, company or university) during its existence and selected to be kept permanently because they are considered to be of continuing value to society.
  • Unique and irreplaceable.
  • Created and stored in many formats, including paper files, parchment documents, bound volumes, maps, plans, audio and video recordings and photographs and digital files.
  • Retained by their creators or by archive service providers, such as national or local government archives, university archives, or other archives that collect and maintain archives of other organisations.
  • A great national resource as they document the history and identity of communities throughout the country.
  • Important as they protect the interests of individuals, organisations, and society in general as they provide evidence of past events.