5th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Archives

The Universal Declaration on Archives will be celebrating its 5th Anniversary this week on November 10. The International Council on Archives (ICA) invites all archivists, records managers and the general public, to celebrate this anniversary.  The Universal Declaration on Archives was initiated by the International Council on Archives and adopted in Paris by the UNESCO on the 10th of November 2011. UNESCO encourages its Member States to be guided by the principles set out in the Declaration.

The Universal Declaration on Archives was adopted by the 36th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO on 10th November 2011. The Declaration was developed by a special working group of the International Council on Archives and has been endorsed by the ICA as a key pillar of its outreach and advocacy strategy.

The document has been translated into many languages and advocates the preservation and universal accessibility of the world’s documentary heritage.  Archives secure human rights, establish a collective memory and underpin accountable and transparent governments.


Records on display at the National Archives of Fiji

The Declaration is an important step in improving understanding and awareness of archives among the general public and key decision-makers. It is a powerful, succinct statement of the relevance of archives in modern society.


  • Defines archives to include all recorded decisions, actions and memories in all formats including paper, digital, and audio visual;
  • Recognizes the uniqueness of archives in the way they provide authentic evidence of human actions;
  • Emphasizes the key role of archives in ensuring administrative transparency and democratic accountability;
  • Supporting democracy and human rights, and preserving collective social memory.
  • Explains the role of archivists as skilled professionals who care for archives and provide access to them;
  • Highlights the key requirements for good archival management.

To register your support for the Universal Declaration on Archives, please click here and fill out the form.


Photographs being processed at the Oceania Marist Province Archives, Suva, Fiji

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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