About the CERN Archives

The CERN Archives includes files of letters, memos, reports, notes and other documents created or received in the course of their duties by former Directors-General and other senior staff, by the CERN Council and subordinate Committees, by CERN Departments, and by selected Experiments and Committees. In addition to the CERN fonds, it also contains the Wolfgang Pauli Archive, a collection of correspondence, manuscripts and other material representing the scientific legacy of Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel Laureate, 1945).

What are archives?  Why archiving?  Why don't archivists digitize everything?

The CERN Archives was originally conceived as a support for writing the history of CERN, as part of CERN’s 25th Anniversary celebrations. The projects were launched in April 1979 by the Committee of Council, and in November the D-G requested division leaders to make source material available to the CERN Historical Archives and to appoint Divisional Records Officers to ensure ongoing collection of historical records.

Volume 1 of the History of CERN was published in 1987, and in September 1988 the CERN Directorate set up an ad hoc committee to establish a policy and procedures for the Archives of CERN. The Archive Committee existed from 1989 to 2004. CERN Operational Circular N° 3 ‘Rules applicable to archival material and archiving at CERN’ and the subsidiary document ‘Archiving Policy at CERN’ appeared in 1997. A CERN working group on electronic records was set up in 1997, and made its report in 2001.

The CERN Archives adheres to the International Council on Archives (ICA) code of ethics (link is external).

Last modified
19 March, 2024