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Research project

OPENARCH - Open archives for social science research in Widening countries

The EUI Widening Europe Programme initiative, backed by contributions from the European Union and EUI Contracting States, is designed to strengthen internationalisation, competitiveness, and quality in research in the so-called Widening countries, and thus foster a more cohesive European Higher Education and Research area.

Archives play a key role for academic research in the social sciences. They preserve primary sources produced by public institutions and shape research through the availability and accessibility of these sources. 

Public archives in the European Union have some common ethical principles on open, equal and inclusive access to archives of public institutions. Considering their specific role in transparent and accountable governance, archives manage and preserve trustworthy primary sources and make these available according to common legal and ethical standards, regulatory and legal frameworks under EU and national law, and in response to the citizens’ right to information. 

After 1989 an intensive discussion about the function and philosophy of archives in democratic societies began, while the political change did not per se lead to the modernisation of the legal system and archival practice, which were instead longer and unfinished processes. Archives of widening countries, therefore, still today have different legal frameworks, strategies and practices on the accessibility of archives to scholars and the public.

OPENARCH research project will analyse the accessibility conditions, research experience, and levels of education and training on the right to access public archives of widening countries on the side of archivists on the one hand and of scholars on the other hand.

The research team will produce working papers that analyse the needs of archivists and of scholars in widening countries in terms of education and training needs as regards common ethical, procedural, and technical principles in Europe on rights-based access to public archives for social science research

The team

Group members

  • Portrait picture of Dieter Schlenker

    Dieter Schlenker


    Historical Archives of the European Union

  • Alice Cunha

    Assistant Professor

    NOVA University Lisbon

  • Dorota Drzewiecka

    Associate Professor

    Pedagogical University Krakow

  • Charles Farrugia


    National Archives of Malta

  • Boglarka Koller

    Associate Professor

    National University of Public Service Budapest

  • Pavel Szobi


    Charles University Prague

External Partners

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