Do Archives Have a Future in the Digital Age?

TitleDo Archives Have a Future in the Digital Age?
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsSzékely, I.
Journal titleJournal of Contemporary Archival Studies

The rapid development of information and communication technologies pose significant challenges to archival theory and practice. The analysis of the dominant information operators of the archival institutions in the respective paradigms of archival history shows that today’s internet-based services can replicate all the main functions of the archival institutions, at least at the level of the fundamental information operators, on a mass scale. Despite these developments, the author argues that archives are under no direct threat of abolition or loss of function in the digital age, not only because of institutional inertia and traditions, but also their role in preserving context and preserving physical copies, and their institutional responsibility which will continue to be an important social, legal and administrative requirement in the future, too.
Keywords: archives, information operators, archival paradigms, digitization, internet-based services, physical copies, migration of document formats, preservation of context.

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