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Historical Archives of the European Union - European University Institute

HAEU Code of Archival Ethics now online

The Historical Archives of the European Union has published a Code of Archival Ethics, in line with recommendations from the International Council of Archives. 

23 October 2023


The Historical Archives of the European Union’s (HAEU) newly published ‘Code of Archival Ethics’ articulates the professional responsibility of its archivists and staff to its depositors, researchers and the public. It also advises the public on their rights to access and consult archival material in the HAEU. The Code covers the various archival work processes and consists of four sections: the Archives’ mission; professional integrity; archival processes; and accessibility.

In its daily practice, the HAEU maintains the ethical standards set by the field, following in particular the recommendations from the International Council of Archives.  It guarantees the integrity and authenticity of the archives in its care, as well as state-of-the art conditions to safeguard and preserve its physical and digital holdings. Archival work processes at the HAEU are carried out according to internationally recognised standards: the HAEU’s workflows have been certified as meeting the requirements of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Finally, the HAEU protects the privacy and data protection of its registered users while insuring the broadest possible access.

The Code also includes provisions concerning the professional skills and responsibilities of the archivists adapted specifically to the unique character of the HAEU’s institutional holdings. It stipulates that “the HAEU archivists and staff are professionally trained experts knowledgeable in at least three official languages of the EU. They possess a transnational cultural mind-set, which is continuously enriched through numerous inter-cultural relations and cooperation activities. The HAEU staff is encouraged to engage in professional development activities related to their archival competences.” Furthermore, the HAEU pledges that its archivists and staff will seek to raise “awareness on the importance of the EU’s archival sources as common European memory and cultural heritage.”

Finally, the Code mentions the Archives’ approach to intellectual property regulations, a complex issue in our digital age.

The HAEU’s Code of Archival Ethics complements the EUI’s Code of Ethics in Academic Research. Consult the Code of Archival Ethics here.

Last update: 23 October 2023

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