Monday, May 07, 2007

National Archives

The National Archives of the United Kingdom
are at Kew near London but tomorrow i am going to the Danish State Archives:
"The main purpose of the State Archives is to collect and store historical sources and make them available to the public.

Our reading rooms are open to all who wish to use the records, parish registers, census lists, financial accounts and other types of unique documents, registers and files. Each year, nearly 100,000 people use this opportunity. Many are looking for their ancestors and others are interested in the history of their region or their home town. Still others are academic researchers or students who may be working on a historical research project or their theses.

The raw material – the records – originates from the Danish public authorities. The State Archives ensure that authorities arrange and transfer their records in a condition that renders them useful to future users of the archives – and not least to the authorities themselves."

The State Archives is the collective name for the Danish National Business Archives, the Danish Data Archives, the Danish National Archives and the four regional archives at Viborg, Aabenraa, Odense and Copenhagen. The National Archivist is the head of the National Archives and the senior manager of the State Archives.

The regional archives hold records transfered from regional authorities, e.g. the courts of law, the county authorities, the police and many local authorities. The archive holding body to the central authorities such as ministries, agencies and national organisations is the Danish National Archives. The Danish National Business Archives keep registers, documents, etc. from companies and organisations from the business sector. The Danish Data Archives, the newest of the seven archive holding bodies, keep historical and social science studies such as registers, databases and other electronically stored information.

There is every indication that the paper archives will give way to electronic archives. Electronic filing systems have been widely used by the authorities for many years. Many authorities, companies and organisations have now made a complete conversion to electronic archives.

This means that the State Archives have been charged with the task of ensuring that electronic documents will be accessible with emerging technologies as well. Consequently, the IT department of the State Archives has set up a number of requirements which must be met by electronic records. This has been done in close cooperation with the authorities, the IT industry and foreign archival bodies.


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