To understand history, it is important to have access to papers and documents from the past.
In Denmark the administrative records are preserved by the State Archives. The objective of the State Archives is to safeguard the preservation of authentic documentation of the most aspects possible of the development of Danish society.
The archives have received and preserved the state administration’s historically valuable papers and documents since medieval times.
The archives today
Today preservation continues to be ensured through systematic, regular transfer of records from the state administration and the courts. Municipal and private records are also collected and preserved.
It is not just papers and documents that are archived today, but also a great number of other types of records such as digital material.
As a rule, records transferred from the public authorities are available to the public when the records are 30 years old. In addition, the archives play an active part in historical research and communication activity.
Municipal and local history archives
A number of local authorities have established archive institutions proper to store the municipal records (municipal archives). In addition there are more than 400 local history archives spread all over the country.
The State Archives was established in 1992, uniting the National Archives, the provincial archives, the Danish National Business Archives and the Danish Data Archive.