|On of the first pictures of the destroyed city archives of Cologne. Author: F. Domahs, 2009.
Archives are a fantastic resource for us all. They help us grow in knowledge and understanding of past and present. They empower us to investigate the history we need and the stories we care about. Archives are necessary.
But not all archives are well
On March 3 2009, the city archives of Cologne in Germany collapsed and with it thousands of documents belonging to one of the oldest city archives in Europe. Holdings reached back to 1408/09 and the oldest document stored was from 922. A huge part of the archives was buried by the collaps. About 40.000 charters, collection of photo and film as well as some of the iconic medieval documents and a collection of seals were saved.
To rebuild or not to rebuild?
But although part of the collections have been saved, the municipality has recently decided to freeze the build of a new city archives. A decision, which has been critized by both the German Association of Archivists (VdA) as well as ICA, the International Council on Archives.
Let's support all archives in need
But we are almost certain, that there are a lot of archives in the world, which also need attention. Archives threatened by for instance consequences of climate change, lack of appropriate facilities or other negative influences.
#savearchives on June 9th
Hopefully our attention and support can help #savearchives!
Storify #IAD13 and #savearchives made by Karen du Toit, senior archivist at SABC in South Africa.