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Functioning of archives in conditions of opposed influences: state - society - users

Stjepan Ćosić
Vlatka Lemić

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 126 Kb

str. 7-19

preuzimanja: 1.185



In contemporary environment, marked by neoliberal economy, global information interconnection, accumulation of knowledge and expansion of services, archives tend to become centers of cultural, scientific and global society events. Modern archival institution is on the way to transform its traditional role of being considered only as a scientific and cultural institution. With the development of public administration archival activities have been broadened in that field as well, while, by opening to wider public during the second half of the 20th century, archives have been offering new information services and provisions to citizens.
State archives, as public institutions financed by the government, try to adjust themselves to economic principles of business, already being implemented by other parts of public administration. This trend is, on the one hand, characterized by reduction of budget funds, and on the other, by relying on incomes provided by broadened activities and services and charging for them. Thereby, archives are faced with legal and ethical issues of demarcation between basic and additional services, dependent on particular facilities of each archives.
Therefore, needs of contemporary society impose to archives wider operational framework, which, in many ways, go beyond simple safeguarding of archival material and usual provisions to users and researchers. Within their work archives are more and more asked, in designing their services, to concentrate to special demands and concerns of the community.
Problem of opposite expectations (state – society – users) which is, on the one hand, conditioned by need for service’s rationalization, and one the other, by greater users’ expectations, requires to be analyzed in every field of archives activities:
1. providing services to records’ creators (through transfer of knowledge and cooperation in the field of documentation management),
2. protection and promotion of interests and rights of individuals and groups (through the access to archival material, transparency of public institutions’ work and protection of private and other confidential data), and
3. acting in local community and society (participation in cultural life and shaping identity).
Satisfying solutions should be, by all means, searched for in the framework of archives considered as mediators among wide circle of users, administration and science.

Ključne riječi

archives and society; archival service; archives management

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