Did you know that 9 June is International Archives Day? All around the world, archival community professionals join together to explain to the world at large why supporting archives and the profession is so important.
ICA is firmly convinced of the need to promote the value of archives and archivists at international level. Archives and archivists play an important role in accountability, transparency, democracy, heritage, memory and society.
At the 2004 International Congress in Vienna, the 2,000 participants in attendance adopted a resolution requesting that the United Nations (UN) designate a specific day to mark the importance and value of archives.
In 2005, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) declared 27 October to be the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) during the 33rd session of its General Conference held in Paris, France. WDAH offers an opportunity to spread awareness of the need to take urgent measures and acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as part of our shared heritage and memory. However, audiovisual documents are only a relatively small part of our documentary heritage that deserves international attention.
It was decided at the 2007 ICA Annual General Meeting that 9 June would be celebrated as International Archives Day (IAD). This date was selected to commemorate the day in 1948 on which ICA was created under the auspices of UNESCO.
International Archives Week
One year later, the first International Archives Day celebrations were staged to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of ICA. However, it was not until 2019 that the ICA expanded the event to extend over an entire week. During International Archives Week (IAW), organisations worldwide share their events and participate alongside ICA in promoting the value and importance of archives and archivists.
- To increase public awareness of the importance of records and archives;
- To raise awareness among leading decision-makers of the benefits of records management for good governance and development;
- To make the general public, private and public sectors fully conscious of the need for long-term archival preservation and access;
- To showcase the unique, extraordinary and rare documents preserved in archival institutions; and
- To enhance the image of records and archives and raise their profile across the globe.
International Archives Days/Weeks around the world
If you do not feel inspired to celebrate the day or to create Archives Week events, or if you are simply curious about IAD/IAW is celebrated in other cultures, why not check out some examples of the activities organised in the last three years: