The European Space Agency historical archives
For the past 30 years, the European Space Agency’s historical archives have been hosted by the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) in accordance with a deposit agreement signed between ESA and the European University Institute on 12 May 1989. Since then approximately 45,000 paper files have been transferred in yearly shipments to Florence.
On 2 May 2019, during the State of the Union event held to mark these 30 years of cooperation in archival preservation and historical research, ESA and the HAEU signed a Letter of Intent to continue and deepen their fruitful partnership in the service of archival cooperation, fostering digital access to the ESA historical archives.
The first result of this new approach comes with the opening for the first time today of digital access to the ESA historical archives. Accordingly, the public can now gain access online to digitised paper documents of ESA and its predecessor organisations, CETS, COPERS, ELDO, ESC and ESRO.
These five collections represent the legacy of the first key years of the European space effort which started with the Conference of Meyrin in 1960 up to the ESA Convention, adopted in 1975 by European ministers during the last meeting of the European Space Conference (ESC) in Brussels; they provide the public with access to the works initiated by the founding fathers of European space, Edoardo Amaldi and Pierre Auger.