If you search for the subject “archives” on the internet, you will find out that the word can represent:
– a collection of documents or records of historical value,
– places or building where these records are kept,
– collection of (digital) records, historical events (on a computer).
Further search on the internet shows the word archive is derived from the German Archiv and French archives, taken from the Latin archīum, archīvum, which is a romanized form of the Greek word arkheĩon, arkhḗion (government building, town hall), derived from Greek árkhō (to begin, rule, govern).
It is a very powerful word – and with power comes responsibility. For this reason, the General Assembly of the International Council on Archives (ICA) held in Beijing, China, formally adopted the ICA Code of Ethics on 6 September 1996, which serves as a guide for archival staff around the world.
Archives are not just records and bricks. There are also people who keep the archives alive, growing and thriving. After completing the internship, archives professional staff must pass the professional exam in the protection of archives to obtain the title of an archival technician, archival associate or archivist. The exams are administered by the Commission for professional exams in the field of the protection of archives, within the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia. Also, IT personnel, conservation and restoration staff and documentalists fill the mosaic of records protection. Outside of archives, however, we find many civil servants who must be professionally qualified to protect the records – for the first steps in the preservation of Slovenian cultural heritage.
Today, the Slovene archival network comprises a national archive, six regional archives and three archives of the Roman Catholic Church. In Slovenia, there are also special archives (you can find out more about the archives by clicking on the interactive map on the home page of our website or in the Slovenian Archives publication).
Slovenian archives provide their users with a lot of useful information through their websites, so we would prefer to direct you to them; however, we would like to point out:
– a list of archival legislation can be found on the website of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia,
– the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia search browser and Slovene regional archival institutions (SIRAnet) search browser are available for easy search of fonds and collections of public archives,
– Slovenian archivists regularly register archival records in neighbouring countries and abroad that relate to Slovenia and Slovenians, and publish their findings in publications available on the website of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia,
– a wider search is provided by the Archives Portal of Europe, which provides access to information on archives from different European countries and includes information on archival institutions across Europe,
– with the increasing popularity of digitized records available online, we recommend to all aficionados of medieval documents Monasterium.net – Europe’s virtual charters archive!
To find out more about archival treasures in Slovenia, we recommend the publication Arhivi – zakladnica spomina (Archives – Treasures of Memory, 2014), which is the result of cooperation between Slovenian archives and presents the most beautiful, interesting, oldest, most precious… archival records found in 75 kilometres of archival records in Slovenia from the 9th century onwards.
Finally, our request – donate archival records to archives! This way, the cultural heritage of people will be best taken care of.