Brussels,Belgium-European Board of National Archivists 2010

Under the Belgian Presidency of the EU, EBNA meeting took place on 18 – 19 November 2010.

The Belgian program of EBNA meeting included the following themes:
a) Acquiring business archives and making them accessible for the public: good practices,
b) Access to cartographic sources: digitization programs and international collaboration,
c) World War I archives and historical research: hype or cornerstone?
d) Archives and remembrance education,
e) Appraisal and transfer of (de-)classified information.
The most important decision accepted by the Board of directors was the new “Brussels declaration on digital access to archives” – the three language versions (English, French and German) are published:

EBNA
Brussels Declaration on digital access to archives
Considering
… the changes brought by the development of IT to all areas of daily life including  workplaces together with an increasing relevance of archives in an online environment and the growing quantities of archives accessible in digital form,
… the new possibilities opened by the emerging Internet technologies for sustainable digital access to and the use of archives for academic research as for a greater public,
… that the European national archives are united by the common goal of making available the richness to be found in their holdings using the most appropriate methods on the basis of the communality of shared professional approaches,
… and the enhanced possibilities for European citizens, supported by a better cross boarder understanding of their identities and differences, histories and expectations, to engage themselves in deeper collaboration in social, economic, political and institutional areas,
the National Archivists of Europe gathered in the European Board of National Archivists (EBNA) declare their sincere intentions to enhance a closer co-operation with the aim to support open access to their holdings by expanding the means for digital availability.
They consider the following priorities as being crucial for success of their joint initiatives:
(1) to lay open the great richness of the cultural diversity in Europe as represented in the holdings in Europe’s archives and make it exploitable and usable via own websites as well as via joint access points, including the retro-conversion of legacy finding aids;
(2) to continue to elaborate innovative and cost effective ways to use modern Internet technologies for providing online access to descriptive information on archives in the contexts of their creation, to enrich it by access to digital copies were appropriate, and integrate it for cross boarder research and investigation into the joint union finding aid, built up by the Archival Portal Europe (APEnet) project;
(3) to apply sustainable, economic and professionally acceptable methods for combined preservation strategies, f.i. by integrating digitization for access with microfilming for preservation and the professional preservation of the authentic original material;
(4) to share their knowledge about the development and use of professional methods and techniques applied to similar aims in different environments, use and develop open source tools and support the building of communities and networks of expertise around them;
(5) to consider the possibilities to rebalanced home country efforts and international engagements on a basis of synergy and benefit for both the common aims and their achievements in their own country;
(6) to be open to co-operate with commercial partners who are willing and capable to understand and support these approaches as today’s expression of the archival mission in the field of digital access of archives.