PO CRO Fondo Sociale Europeo
Regione Liguria 2007-2013
Asse IV "Capitale Umano"

Welcome R.I.C.E.R.C.A. project

Risorse Industriali Culturali: Estrazione e Raccolta dei Contenuti per Accessibilità


The business archives is a specific sector of archival science concerning the historical archives management relative to the complex documentation produced by entities (creators) carrying out an economic activity. A particular area within business archives is the industrial archives that handle issues related to documentation of the world of industry and labour. The substantial difference that characterizes an historical business archive compared to an historical archive in general is the particular archive structure, its characteristics and the type of materials that it retains (e.g. technical drawings, photos, video and audio files, 3D objects, and text documents). These elements arise from the documentation production context, from the creator type and from the different business activities.


One of the most important distinctive features in the business archives is the uniqueness of the resource preserved in archival institutions; the preserved resources are important testimony of the past social life and therefore they are used as sources for historical research.
Business archives represent an element of utmost importance for the development of a country, but the preservation of corporate archives and the possibility of easily accessing to them remain a challenge in most countries.


The Business archives management is different from any other type of archives management and requires the application of particular methods, tools and strategies in the different phases of the archive life cycle; it requires also a particular definition and implementation of the conservation policies and the analysis and development of many types of operations activities and criteria to manage the documentation. In addition the archive management plan has to be coherent with the company business type and in accordance with the specificities of the single historical archive and taking into account the national legislation that regulates the preservation and access to the documentation, the consult ability right and privacy protection, changes in ownership and custody of the archive as an intangible asset.


The basic goals of the archival science are to preserve, catalogue and describe many different types of archival materials produced and preserved on various supports types and making available the documentation in original form and/or in digital representation. In recent years this study area includes the analysis of the traditional and electronic methods and tools for the documentation cataloguing and conservation, the process of the digital preservation, the standard archival description on appropriate software, the use of databases for the archival heritage storage and the access via web platforms.
Several European initiatives and projects aim to make the unique cultural heritage preserved in the archives all over Europe digitally accessible via the internet to any possible user everywhere in the world.