National archives" priorities: an international overview Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2021

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 42


  • 2


  • 14

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1389-0166

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-7519


  • This discussion of national archives' present priorities affords an overview of the areas meriting their greatest attention. It is based on an analysis of 18 strategic plans and 41 vision statements found for the 159 national archives affiliated with the International Council on Archives' regional branches that provide public access to these documents on their websites. Improvement in access to and conservation and digitisation of the respective collections are convergent items in such plans and statements. Other strategies including protection for the national heritage and collective memory are also identified in some developing countries where the national archive is the mainstay of cultural and intellectual life. Strengthening national archive authority as the governing institution that guides a country's archival policy, another issue found in both plans and statements, infers the need to heighten archives' social and institutional role in their respective countries. The article identifies what is deemed good practice in cultural institution transparency management by describing what these institutions do and how. The scant presence of strategic plans on national archives' websites is regretted, however, for it deprives citizens of information on the action planned for the years to come and precludes any international extrapolation of the present findings.


  • Library Science and Documentation


  • national archives; strategy; strategic plan; vision statement; transparency