Archives constitute the memory of nations and societies, shape their identity, and are a cornerstone of the information society. By providing evidence of human actions and transactions, archives support administration and underlie the rights of individuals, organisations and states. By guaranteeing citizens' rights of access to official information and to knowledge of their history, archives are fundamental to identity, democracy, accountability and good governance.
The Mission, Aim and Objectives are enshrined in the ICA's Constitution.
The mission of the International Council on Archives (ICA) is to promote the preservation and use of archives around the world. In pursuing this mission, ICA works for the protection and enhancement of the memory of the world and to improve communication while respecting cultural diversity.
The aim of the ICA is to promote the management and use of records and archives, and the preservation of the archival heritage of humanity around the world, through the sharing of experiences, research and ideas on professional archival and records management matters, and on the management and organisation of archival institutions.
The objectives of the ICA are to:
- Encourage and support the development of archives in all countries, in co-operation with other organisations, including international agencies, governmental and non-governmental.
- Promote, organize and co-ordinate best practice, the development of standards and other activities in the field of records and archives management.
- Establish, maintain and strengthen relations between archivists of all countries and between all institutions, professional bodies and other organisations, public and private, wherever located, which are concerned with the administration or preservation of records and archives, or with the professional training of archivists, especially through the exchange of information.
- Facilitate the interpretation and use of archives by making their content more widely known and by encouraging greater access to them.
- Undertake any relevant activities which support its aim.