Position of archivists: the door for accessing records

Aida Škoro Babić

Abstract

Changes in society and rapid developments in technology have changed the role and position of archivists considerably, especially their professional competences and work tasks. Naturally, this led to changes to the status and position that archivists – and archival institutions as such – have in today’s society, which in turn raised another question of what sort of education and skills to require for the work of an archivist. The role of archivists in today’s society is continually expending, although such changes often go unnoticed, either intentionally or unintentionally. It is often painfully obvious that archivists do not have a great reputation in the eyes of the public, that (aside from some extraordinary circumstances) they attract less attention than their colleagues in museums and galleries, that there are no court experts among them, that archival science in general is not perceived as an independent science, that the archivists’ commitment to secrecy is not legally regulated, that the code of ethics for archivists is not supported by statutory provisions, etc. Based on an example from practice, I aim to provide answers to some of these questions, particularly those related to the education, professional competences and work tasks of a contemporary archivist. The role of archivists in today’s society is continually expending, although such changes often go unnoticed, either intentionally or unintentionally. It is often painfully obvious that archivists do not have a great reputation in the eyes of the public, that (aside from some extraordinary circumstances) they attract less attention than their colleagues in museums and galleries, that there are no court experts among them, that archival science in general is not perceived as an independent science, that the archivists’ commitment to secrecy is not legally regulated, that the code of ethics for archivists is not supported by statutory provisions, etc.

Keywords: archivist, archival law, archival science, professional competences, archival code of ethics, the public

Bio

Employed at the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia as Senior Counsellor – archivist for special archives since 2009.

Aida Škoro Babić graduated in 2000 at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana in the field of history, MSc/Mphil/ (master of science of national and general history from antiquity till 18th century) in 2005 at the Faculty of Arts, at the University of Ljubljana and University of Sarajevo. Phd candidate at Faculty of Arts at the University of Maribor in the field of contemporary history.

In 2009 she was appointed as a court interpreter by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia for Bosnian language. She is involved in scientific and humanitarian projects of archives, domestic and foreign unniversities, minority associations and humanitarian organisations.

By researching some issues of archival science in Slovenia, made scientific contributions to archival science: as the author of more than 50 bibliographic units in last five years, mainly on the topic of archival legislation, archival records and human rights, digital records, archival records of military courts, records of Second World War. Especially on the field of new archival law adopted in 2014.