The ICA’s Section on Business Archives (SBA) is pleased to share a new and third edition of Business Archives in International Comparison. This publication, presented in its first edition at the ICA Congress in Vienna in 2004, aims to raise awareness of the very different national approaches to identifying, preserving and managing the historical records of business that have developed around the world.
The archival records of business and business people can provide crucial commentary on a country’s economic, social and political story, but until recent decades they have often been neglected by both the companies that created them and national archive networks. This publication demonstrates the increasing recognition of the importance of business archives and the efforts being made in many countries by businesses, national, regional and municipal archives, museums, universities and other institutions to ensure that such archives not only survive, but are well cared for and well used.
The publication offers an accessible way for both archive students and experienced archivists to learn about and understand the different national frameworks for keeping business archives that have developed globally under the influence of local legislation and record-keeping traditions. It will also be of interest to archivists who manage the historical records of global businesses that transcend national borders and to countries seeking best practice ways to ensure the preservation of their own business archives.
The national overviews have been compiled by past and present members of the SBA and their national and international colleagues and correspondents and all articles from earlier editions of the publication have been rewritten and thoroughly updated.
SBA would like to extend the publication during the next year to include more country overviews and would welcome further contributions. Information on how to contribute an overview can be found at the back of the publication.