by Dr. Cristian Anita – Director General
Last year the National Archives of Romania celebrated its187 years of existence. This makes the National Archives of Romania the oldest institution of the Romanian modern governance. Although we have a long history, we are nonetheless living in the present and, most of all, we are hardly trying to ensure a better future for our institution and profession.
With the ongoing development of the Romanian public institutions and private organizations, the archival profession finds itself more and more in the core of the social evolution and has to confront the multiple challenges brought upon by the new contexts and new technologies. We are aware that, with the diversification of the types of documents created by a growing number of institutions and organizations, the contemporary Archives will consequently have a growing role to play. And we are happy to note that also the Romanian public actors became more and more aware of the Archives’ importance to their effective functioning, not only as a keeper of the historical thesaurus of the state, but also as an institution meant to support and manage the production of the very present records, in a proper and coherent manner.
In order to respond to all the current and future challenges the National Archives of Romania undertook lately some important organizational steps. A Strategy for Developing the Archives was adopted by the Government in 2015 and it is currently in the implementation stage. A new project of the Law of Archives, drafted by our experts, was recently adopted by the Romanian Government and it is currently on debate on Parliament. We are hopeful that next year it will be adopted; hence the National Archives will have proper and up-to-date tools for better interacting with all the public actors.
I would also like to stress that, for the past ten years, the National Archives of Romania had the opportunity to largely benefit from the development funds provided by the European Union. In 2012, with a contribution of about 3 million euros from the EU funds, we initiated our first integrated electronic system for managing the historical funds. It is now functional for half of the Romanian County Archives and we are committed to extend it to the whole country’s archival network. Also, in 2016, with the help of a SEE grant and in partnership with two great Romanian universities, Bucharest and Cluj, we managed to digitalized and make available for the public about 100.000 virtual images, representing the most valuables thesaurus of the Romanian Archives, more precisely, all the records older than the 15 century from all our county branches.
Also, in October 2018, we started a new ambitious project, also with the substantial help of EU funds: a large investment of about 5 million euros aimed to restore, rehabilitate and modernize the main headquarters of the National Archives, a beautiful building, historical monument, located in the touristic core of Bucharest. We strongly hope that after this restoration we will be able to open a new Museum of the Archives, which would be a new opportunity to connect even more directly with our public.
A new project concerning the digitization of all the inventories of the National Archives of Romania, a project also supported by EU funds and aiming to facilitate free and direct access of the public to our fonds from wherever in Europe or the world was launched last year in November.
As you can see, we have a lot of work ahead of us. But it is certainly worth it and we are rather happy to carry out all the necessary efforts in order to reach our goal, which is to make the National Archives of Romania a modern European archival institution, able to face the challenges of the future.
So we are looking forward to welcoming you in Bucharest, for the 26th EAG and 39th EBNA Meeting, on 5th-7th of June, to discuss, to debate, to share experiences and most of all to have a great time together.