June 9th is International Archives Day!
At the International Congress in Vienna in 2004, the 2000 participants adopted a resolution requesting the United Nations to create an International Archives Day. Some countries had already decided to have a national archives day, to raise awareness of the general public and the decision-makers about the importance of archives. National Archives Day in the United States is January 23, however National Archives Month is celebrated in October.
The public’s image of the archives is sometimes foggy: often confused with libraries, archives continue to be perceived as documents for internal use only, which are difficult to access and are of interest only to historians. The perception of records and archives by the public and the organizations that create them is not clear.
It is therefore important to remember that records and archives are documents, created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations, or in the transaction of business. Archival records are those documents that are preserved by their creators, successors or an appropriate archive institution because of their legal value or enduring historical significance. Archives constitute a major cultural heritage and information resource and that resource gives testimony to the development of economical, political and social humanity.
So raise a glass and celebrate International Archives Day! The history you are celebrating might just be your own!