Provide Greater Research Opportunities
Archives—such as letters, reports, accounts, minute books, manuscripts, and photographs of people, businesses, and governments—are valuable historical documents that operate as evidence of past events. They’re also the facts and narratives we use to interpret history and influence our sense of identity and understanding of cultures. While the word “archive” is hard to define, it’s used here to describe a collection of items that form evidence of the activities of a person or institution and have been carefully selected for long-term preservation.
Records weren’t usually created for the purpose of archival research in a library, which means these documents often provide a less biased account of events than secondary sources. While archives are mainly used by academic research scholars, other professions and areas of study use archives for various forms of research.