The Universal Declaration on Archives

Under the theme “Designing the Archives in the 21st Century”, International Archives Week will be celebrated around the world from 3 to 9 June 2019 by archivists, records managers, and data and information managers.

The International Council on Archives (ICA) Universal Declaration on Archives (UDA) supports this theme and places the human being at the center of our activities. It is a declaration for all peoples and cultures of the world, cutting across not only geographical boundaries, but also all sectors and industries, ensuring a direct benefit for citizens, policy makers, customers, stakeholders and communities.

The UDA encompasses all decision-making acts and official documents, whatever their format, be they paper, digital or audiovisual. It supports democracy and human rights and preserves collective social memory.

The UDA provides a common and succinct testimony of who we are as archivists and records managers and what we do for everyone around the world. It highlights our commitment to work together to ensure that information management protects integrity and accessibility of records and archives over time. It also reaffirms the common responsibility of all archivists, information specialists, public decision makers, owners or holders of public and private archives, and citizens, in the management of information.

The Declaration emphasises the need to make information available to researchers, users and other stakeholders accessing documents and archives in an environment that is designed to protect and preserve them.

The ICA Universal Declaration on Archives was adopted on 10 November 2011 by UNESCO. Since then it has been translated into many languages. You can discover if there is a translation in your language and the many other downloadable versions of the UDA by accessing the ICA web page:

If you wish to translate the UDA into a language that is not yet available on the ICA website, you can contact Dr. Claude Roberto, Chair of the ICA Advocacy Expert Group at the following address:

Your translation will help advance human knowledge about the importance of archives and documents for cultural groups, wherever they are on our planet.

To celebrate and acknowledge the importance of International Archives Week the International Council on Archives (ICA) presents to the world a new Universal Declaration on Archives (UDA) poster. Dynamic, modern, and easy to read with sharp contrasts it is colourful while maintaining an official character and highlighting the partnership between the ICA and UNESCO. The new poster is now available for you to use and share!

By Claude Roberto, PhD, Chair of the ICA Advocacy Expert Group