Let us start with the fact that the archive as a government agency is an institution or structural unit of the organization that carries out storage, acquisition, accounting and use of archival documents.
So, the main functions of the archive are to store documents. Which, exactly? Everyone! But different types of documents have different storage periods. Those that represent value to history, for example, remain in storage forever.
What do people need archives for? First, each person may have questions regarding documents for processing certain benefits. Thus, in retirement, it is often necessary to confirm the seniority of work. And here the archive will come to help – the main thing to learn, in which archive documents of this or other organization are stored.
Second, the archives preserve a historical-documentary legacy for future generations. Archival institutions hold documents of pre-revolutionary, Soviet and even present times. In addition, there are funds of personal origin in which documents of eminent figures of the regions and the country are stored.
Thirdly, archival documents are an immutable assistant in the compilation of genealogy. They can find information for compiling a genealogical tree for almost any period.
In the fourth, the archive will not only help to find information in the documents, but also save them! Archives accept documents of personal origin. Of course, there is a certain selection – an examination of the value that all transferred documents pass. For example, documents of the period of the Great Patriotic War – photos, letters, award documents, memories of participants of events can be valuable. What are the pros in this case for those who hand over documents (in archival terminology such people are called fundholders)? And there are really many pluses. These documents are guaranteed safety for very long years – archivists will monitor their condition: in time to restore, save from fungi, dust and destruction.
And, of course, for fund holders and their relatives, transferred documents will always be available. In addition, in modern times, the archive accepts electronic copies of documents, if the original does not want to deposit.
Let us summarize the results. So, the archives help:
1. preserve the history of the country, the region, institutions and even the family;
2. convey the historical and documentary heritage for future generations;
3. study history and write scientific works;
4. to preserve documents of social and civil nature for citizens, which can confirm certain benefits (seniority, emergence of some social and legal relations and others).