Principles, Regulations and Obstacles regarding access to archival records of 20 century in Croatia

Vlatka Lemić



Regarding complex and turbulent history of Croatian territories in 20th century, it is unfortunately not surprising that question of access to archival records – witnesses and evidence of those times – still raise lots of yet unsolved and often opposite professional issues. Some aspects of keeping, protection, access and authenticity of those records even now, in 21st century, are still undefined and without practical solutions and principles regardless the fact of existing archival standards, laws and legal provision.

This research will present findings regarding access to 20 century archival records in Croatia based on several relative factors: history, contemporary archival standards, legal framework and Croatian archival practice, as well as, professional, public and political perspective which will show that access in Croatian practice is still viewed through political and public opinion interest instead through legal and professional standards framework.

Objective of this presentation is to raise discussion of importance of regulations regarding access to archives (in media and public space usually referred as “open archives” question) on legal, professional and ethical basis.

Outcome of the presentation is to define professional, social, administrative and scientific factors relevant for further research of “open archives” issues. Current situation in Croatia regarding this issue is that few new initiates and various groups work on new legal provision and my opinion is that such work must be based on professional and ethical standards.

ICA Universal declaration on Archives (URL:­archives-tool-improve-understanding-and-awareness)
ICA Principles of Access to Archives (URL:
ICA Technical Guidance on Managing Archives with Restrictions (URL:–managing-archives-restrictions)
Zakon o arhivskom gradivu i arhivima (NN 105/97)
Pravilnik o koristenju arhjvskog gradiva (NN 67/99)
Zakon o zastiti osobnih podataka (NN I 06/12)
Zakon o pravu na pristup informacijama (NN 25/13)
Zakon o tajnosti podataka (NN 79/07)
Zakon o informacijskoj sigurnosti (NN 79/07)



Vlatka Lemić was born in 1972 in Zagreb and has Ph.D. in the infonnation sciences in the field of achivistics. Since 1998 worked in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb in the area of reference services, information systems, publishing and presenting archival records, registers, development and documentation services and international cooperation. She was Director of Croatian State Archives from 2013 till 20 I 6 and currently is at position of archival counsellor. From 2003 teaches archival studies at Zagreb University and participates in various educational and professional programs and projects. During professional career she participated and lectured at various professional meetings and conferences in Croatia and abroad and published more than 70 works in Croatian and foreign publications. Actively participates in various international projects and cooperation initiatives and currently is vice president of ICARUS and member of EURBICA Executive Board.