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by Archaeology Newsroom

Archives. Prejudice and Greek reality

In archives, together with museums and libraries, an important section of human experience is preserved. However, archives are less well-known to us than the other two categories of institutions. The main obstacle to the acquaintance of the public with the records and documents kept in the archives is the picture that the average citizen has of the archives and their use. The term archive has three different, distinct meanings, that of an entity of records and documents, the archival service, and the building in which archives are housed.In the study of archives, the scientific branch of organizing and handling archives, archives are defined as “the entity of records and documents, regardless of date, material and format, which have been accepted or produced by a person or legal body in context of his activities.” Archives must not be confused with libraries and are not confined to written records and documents. The study of Archives although born in the shadow of the Historic Studies, has gradually included in its field the so-called “active archives”. In Greece archives and archival institutions are held in low esteem. Important documents have been destroyed for historical reasons or because of organizational weakness. However, in the archival institutions of the Ionian islands, first established by the Venetians, an important amount of precious documents are preserved.