Research and secrecy: dealing with archives of intelligence services in Spain Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2017

start page

  • 331

end page

  • 348


  • 17

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1389-0166

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-7519


  • This article offers a critical assessment of the normative framework, functioning, and problems concerning the records and documents that are generated by intelligence agencies in Spain and that essentially make up two major blocks, depending on their life cycle: historical and non-historical records. It does so by proposing the concept of integral inter-accessibility. The article addresses their legal regime, levels of accessibility, and consultation for the purposes of political, economic, and judicial control, as well as internal organisational efficiency. Furthermore, it deals with the manner in which they are generated, and the application of specific procedures and regulations for the protection of classified information, as well as its organisation, description, and integrated management in its active, semi-active, and inactive phases.


  • spanish archives; intelligence services; accessibility; historical research; secrecy; security and defence