November 548

Historical Background of National Archives of Georgia

Archive is an important part of the cultural life of modern humanity. It occupies a special place in the country as a treasure of the ancestors’ knowledge and experience, as a documentary memory. It is a precious treasury that holds the knowledge and experience of human beings, accumulated during the centuries, in the image of the historical documents. Archive and the archival activities are considered as an important field of the political building in modern civilized countries.

The National Archives serve the political, economic, scientific and cultural interests of the country and as an ancestors’ documentary heritage is the essential trapping of the authority.

“Archive” is a Latin word. First it is met in the 2nd century B.C. and meant the place where the state acts were stored. Etymologically it is connected with the Greek ἀρχή (arkhē) that primarily meant the place where the authority was located and afterwards - the place where the official documents were stored.

The birth of the archive is connected with the appearance of the written documents and the necessity of their preservation-conservation.

In ancient Georgia, as well as in other countries, the manuscripts were kept and preserved by their authors, secular and ecclesiastic authorities – court and religious centers.  Every authority in itself means some juridical standards and the documents depicting them, legislative acts, income- expense books, agreements, deeds, diplomatic letters e. t. c. in internal and foreign relatives.

We have no direct and exact notifications about the ancient period archives, but according to the indirect notifications it is confirmed that there was a royal archive in the 6th century that was not only the treasury but the depository for documents. Church and private archives also existed.   

The modern archives in Georgia were established on April 23, 1920, according to the law about the establishment of Republic’s Central Scientific Archive, issued by the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

On July 1, 1921 the revolutionary committee of Georgia issued a decree “About the reorganization of the Archival Affair” according to which during almost seven tenth years the archival field of the Georgian SSR was ruled.

Since 2004 the archival institution represented the state subordination under the Ministry of Justice of Georgia – State department of Archives of Georgia.

In accordance with the law # 71 from March 12, 2007, issued by the Minister of Justice of Georgia, the legal entity of public law the National Archives of Georgia was formed.

For the present time the state control of archival and clerical work fields, the development of the national archival fonds is authorized by the National Archives.