What is an Archives?

Posted by mwinston

An archives is an institution responsible for the appraisal, acquisition, preservation, and provisions of access to archival documents. An archives is a collection of historical records, ie: primary source documents, that have accumulated over the course of an individual’s or an organization’s lifetime and are kept to show the function of an organization. In general, archives consist of records that have been selected for permanent or long-term preservation on grounds of their enduring cultural, historical, or evidentiary value. Archival records are normally unpublished and are almost always unique, unlike books or magazines for which many identical copies exist. This means that Archives are quite distinct from libraries with regard to their functions and organization.
 
The Nemetz Jewish Community Archives of the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia has, since 1971, been acquiring the artifacts, original records, photographs and oral histories of individuals, organizations and businesses of the Jewish people of British Columbia. Today the collection (inclusive dates: 1860-2012) includes approximately 1,000 linear metres of textual records, 300,000 photographs  and 700 oral history interviews. The Jewish Museum and Archives are named after the Nemetz family, which include Abraham and Toby Nemetz and their children Charlie, Samuel, Sarah, David, Harry, Chava, William, Leo and Esther. Over the years, each member of the Nemetz family has made a lasting contribution to the city of Vancouver and the Jewish community.