Appraisal and Transfer of Records from Public Authorities
In accordance with the Danish Archives Act, the State Archives represented by the National Archivist are authorised to specify rules and regulations relating to the management of the records of Danish public authorities. According to the Archives Act the objectives of the State Archives in this area are as follows :
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to ensure the preservation of records of historical value. to ensure that records of no historical value may be disposed of in association with the authorities that are comprised by this Act (…)

The State Archives fulfil the purposes of the Act by issuing rules and regulations on appraisal of the records of public authorities . In this way the State Archives ensure that the right records will be preserved for future generations. In case of records from state authorities , the State Archives must furthermore ensure that such records are transfered to the State Archives.

The framework
Since 1997, the efforts of the State Archives in terms of appraisal have been governed by special agreements with the Ministry of Culture . The general objective is to ensure that all records more than 30 years old will have been transfered by the year 2006. The present special agreement covers the period 2001 to 2004. In continuation of the special agreement , the State Archives have prepared an activity plan in the form of a circular which defines the time for deciding upon appraisal for each public authority and for each authority's transfer of paper records. All activities involving electronic records are governed by:
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Cirkulære nr. 23 af 8. marts 2002 om statslige myndigheders anmeldelse af elektroniske registre (databaser) Cirkulære nr. 24 af 8. marts 2002 om anmeldelse og godkendelse af elektroniske journaler og elektroniske dokumenthåndteringssystemer Cirkulære nr. 25 af 8. marts 2002 om statslige myndigheders aflevering af elektroniske arkivsystemer til Statens Arkiver.

State authorities are obliged to notify the State Archives of their electronic filing systems before they are implemented. All activities relating to appraisal are planned and carried out in cooperation between the National Archives and the regional archives . The head of the department for appraisal at the National Archives is in charge of the coordination of these activities.

Contact to public authorities

All appraisal activities are based on the principle of provenance . This means, among other things, that archival material is transfered in the order and with the classification of the originating authority. In connection with the appraisal, this classification is described, including the finding aids created and used by that authority. Information on the offices of origin over time will be attached to the individual series of records. The information on the archival material will be entered into DAISY (Danish record information system); the central database of the State Archives which contains systematic descriptions of records, offices of origin, shelving and various other information on the records dealt with.

Paper records
When the State Archives have authorised the disposal of certain archival material, it is the responsibility of the authority to ensure that such material is disposed of in a safe manner when it is no longer required for legal or administrative purposes. If it is decided that material should be preserved, the authority must keep the records until they can be transfered to the State Archives. The public authority should transfer its material to that unit within the State Archives that is the normal contact for the authority in question. A main rule is that local state authorities, city or district councils and county councils transfer material to the Provincial Archives whereas national state authorities transfer material to the Danish National Archives. Paper records from state authorities will typically be transfered when the records are approx. 20 years old. This is done to ensure that the records may be made available at the reading rooms of the State Archives before they attain the age of 30 years as provided by the Archives Act. In special cases, however, the National Archivist may allow authorities to postpone transfer of paper records until a later time. Each individual authority carries out the necessary preparation of its records for transfer. As regards paper records, this would typically involve arrangement, screening, cleaning, bundling, labelling and listing of the material according to the rules and regulations of the State Archives.

Electronic records
State authorities are obliged to notify the State Archives of their electronic filing systems before they are implemented. The State Archives will then evaluate whether the system should be preserved, and if so, fix a date on which data the system are to be transferred for the first time. This will normally be after a period of approx. 5 years. Electronic file management systems (journals) and electronic file and document management systems to be preserved mustfurthermore be reviewed for approval. In this connection, the State Archives will determine whether the system enables the authority in question to meet the requirements of the State Archives to public authorities regarding management of their records. The review focuses on both organisational and technical aspects of the system and will furthermore check whether a system-independent filing version may be created for the State Archives. The requirement for notification of electronic filing systems means that, in principle, the State Archives have information on all electronic filing systems used in the Danish central administration. The National Archives are basically in charge of all tasks relating to electronic filing systems. However, decisions on preservation or disposal may in some cases be made in cooperation with the provincial archives.

For further information on the general objectives and strategies of the State Archives please see:

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