Private archives are private property. Organisations or private enterprises are not legally bound to preserve their archives or to hand them over to an archives repository. Private individuals are also free to discard their archives, if they wish.

Hence, the preservation of private archives is based on voluntary agreements between the owners and the archival institutions.

The owner of a private archive, whether small or large, may need advice on how to handle these records:

  • Is the archive worthy of preservation?
  • How to organise an archive of this nature?
  • Can the records be deposited anywhere?
  • Where can I get help?

The keepers of large archives left by enterprises or societies face very different sets of issues than do owners of a collection of personal documents. It is our hope that these pages can provide answers to the most important questions.

If you cannot find the answer you are looking for or have more specific questions related to your own archives, feel free to contact the relevant archival institution.