Access principles: developing a statement of best practice

Comma (2011), 2011, (2), 93–100.


A session on standards at the International Council on Archives (ICA) Congress in Vienna, Austria, in 2004 identified the need in archival practice for a standard on access. This article follows the journey of the ICA Committee on Best Practices and Standards' working group on access principles from Vienna in 2004 to Brisbane, Australia in 2012 when the Principles of Access to Archives were unanimously adopted by the General Assembly. It examines the genesis of the standard, the philosophical and practical tenets that underpin it and the models of standards development within and external to ICA that were consulted. It further details the contributions of working group members and of the regionally and section-based consultative group that reviewed the draft principles, and the long process of vetting, consultation and approval.

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Author details

Peterson, Trudy