Files, documents, maps, photos, seals, posters - archives are considered the memory of a community, a country, a society. For them, the change from paper to digital is a radical change.
Schmalkalden (dpa/th) - From the point of view of experts, Thuringia does not only need a technical solution for the digitization of archive material for the large state archives. It would be desirable to also include archives from municipalities and universities, said the chairman of the state association of archivists, Jens Riederer, before a meeting of the association on Wednesday in Schmalkalden. Digitization in this area is a challenge. "It's not just about storing documents, it's about long-term archiving." The association day, for which around 100 participants are expected, deals with archives in the digital society.
It was originally planned for 2020, but was canceled due to the corona pandemic. At the time, it was supposed to be about the preservation of paper files, as Riederer said. In view of the experiences from the pandemic, the subject had been changed. "The pandemic also revealed the technical deficits in the archives." The need for professional exchange on the subject is also high because, for example, new files are increasingly being created electronically in local government. At the conference, a digital solution for Thuringia's state archives will be presented and the experiences of other federal states will be evaluated.
From the point of view of the head of the association, digitization in the archives does not mean that the importance of existing paper files is decreasing. These are still important as evidence of administrative processes, for example in legal disputes. According to him, the legal minimum retention periods for archive documents are up to 30 years, and documents that are subject to secrecy would even have to be kept for up to 60 years.
According to Riederer, there are more than 180 archives in Thuringia. The state archives include the state archives in Altenburg, Gotha, Greiz, Meiningen/Suhl and Rudolstadt as well as the main state archive in Weimar.