Definition of archive in English:


(also archives)


  • 1A collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.

    ‘source materials in local archives’
    [as modifier] ‘a section of archive film’
    • ‘Efforts searching St Mary's records and other archives for more information proved disappointing.’
    • ‘The institute holds the records of the Archbishops of York as well as numerous genealogical records, health archives, the Rowntree archive and various private collections.’
    • ‘Coleman and his wife Linda spent thirty years collecting firsthand accounts of the event from letters and diaries, archives, and newspapers of the day.’
    • ‘Through personal archives and institutions we compiled about 500 diaries and a few thousand postcards and letters.’
    • ‘Shot by pioneering film-makers Mitchell & Kenyon, the discovery of this archive collection will rewrite British film history.’
    • ‘This site is designed to open up a variety of outstanding collections of archives and manuscripts held by the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Heriot-Watt.’
    • ‘With the advent of photography, film and modern institutional archives, works of art, their makers and patrons have become ever more richly documented.’
    • ‘In order to substantiate and expand the known information, she checked published transcriptions while combing through archives for new documents.’
    • ‘State-of-the-art equipment will make archives, local studies material and museum collections available to everyone, either in person or online.’
    • ‘State-of-the-art computer equipment will also make archives, local studies material and museum collections available to everyone, either in person or online.’
    • ‘The historians were supposed to collect facts from documents, archives, records and present these facts in their own individual styles.’
    • ‘Currently, the site contains 2,000 images and maps from archive and history collections housed by the six boroughs.’
    • ‘Rush spent time researching, accessing information from the archives and records of the Australian Victoria Police Museum.’
    • ‘Entitled Maps and Aerial Photographs from 1800, the display includes many fascinating photos, some given to the centre by local people and some from archive collections.’
    • ‘These are very important items for local history archives.’
    • ‘All this plus York's incomparable collection of artefacts and archives, held everywhere from the Borthwick Institute and the Guild of Merchant Adventurers to the city's many museums.’
    • ‘Many public libraries also have local history sections containing archives relating to local musical activities and famous musicians.’
    • ‘In addition to books it has a large collection of archives and photographs.’
    • ‘There are also section on county records, photo exhibitions, archives, art and local history.’
    • ‘Many had been given to the centre by local people and some had come from archive collections.’
    records, annals, chronicles, registers, accounts
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    1. 1.1The place where historical documents or records are kept.
      ‘to get into the archives I had to fill in a request form’
      • ‘A staggering 1,300 unpublished letters written by Nelson have been unearthed from archives at the museum and throughout the world.’
      • ‘The new gallery, with its associated study room and archives, is a £10m joint venture.’
      • ‘The new complex, near Celbridge, will also include internal courtyards, offices, library, archives and reception rooms.’
      • ‘Beyond, I think, any journalist I have known, McKinnon seems to be happiest in archives and libraries, peering into microfiches and at computer screens.’
      • ‘Not only do they have to spend much time and effort learning languages, they must also spend months or years abroad in the archives and libraries of their chosen fields.’
      • ‘I stayed in America for six weeks and spent every moment, apart from Sundays when the archives were closed, studying my documents.’
      • ‘Laudably, the bill strives to achieve collection in the archives of all appropriate public documents.’
      • ‘At that time, the archives housed approximately six collections that documented the lives and experiences of African American women.’
      • ‘But she says there's a difference between a library and the archives.’
      • ‘Historical societies frequently have a library, archives, and museum.’
      • ‘It contains more than 65 full-color paintings and Civil War maps from the archives of the Library of Congress.’
      • ‘As I said, we hope to be able to raise the money to build a library and archives as well as some temporary exhibit space.’
      • ‘The library and archives share the same building, which is a converted medieval chapel in Dean's Park.’
      • ‘Plans for a ‘joined up service’, with libraries, archives, museums and galleries all together under one roof, have been launched by East Riding Council.’
      • ‘It's hard to access contemporary design independently - it's not in archives or libraries.’
      • ‘How are museums and archives and libraries to preserve the heritage of ‘film’ within the precepts of museum culture?’
      • ‘Col Babbitt and Mrs Zemp were invited to visit Rishworth School and yesterday saw the original Sowerby Parish Registers at the archives in the Central Library.’
      • ‘Local archives house valuable deeds documenting the glory of the mediaeval city, which has witnessed the coronation of 11 Hungarian kings and eight regal wives.’
      • ‘The newspapers are preserved in the archives of the British Library, and are now published for the first time.’
      • ‘The holes in the roofs mean the torrential rains of the Cambodian wet season are washing away the brickwork, riddling the walls with damp and causing irreparable damage to the museum archives.’
      record office, registry, repository, museum, chancery
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  • 1 Place or store (something) in an archive.

    • ‘It has archived thousands of titles, with sample texts available at the click of a mouse.’
    • ‘The challenges involved in displaying and archiving information on the web are huge and the move to multimedia presentation is adding to the complexity of the task.’
    • ‘At present, the collection is archived but not available to the web-browser.’
    • ‘How do you archive these materials for later reference as well as maximize the material's life expectancy?’
    • ‘The original source is here: but it only gives a summary, as the article is archived.’
    • ‘The British Library and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France are embarking on a programme to archive resources on the World Wide Web in their respective national domains.’
    • ‘I don't suppose anyone managed to archive a copy?’
    • ‘At the height of every empire, there is a desperate urge to archive all cultural artifacts despite their quality, high art or low art.’
    • ‘There are some benefits to you as a publisher in having your publication archived by the Library.’
    • ‘If you would like to reproduce, post, or archive any portion of this story, please contact me and obtain permission first.’
    • ‘It's just this intense desire to catalogue and archive the people and the places around me.’
    • ‘I tell him I've probably archived it, and will send it tomorrow.’
    • ‘It has, you may have noticed, started archiving the texts of books in recent months - but the battle is far from over.’
    • ‘Which means that they hadn't archived them - and relied on the underground to keep the data.’
    • ‘An offsider is hauling together the thousands of different legal advices and papers published on the web, cataloguing and archiving them for accessibility.’
    • ‘The recording was archived into the studio's sound effects library - and it was used in many of their films since.’
    • ‘Liberation War Museum is a great initiative to archive the war of independence.’
    • ‘Do you archive television broadcasts for use by library patrons or other educational or research purposes?’
    • ‘Festival events are archived so anyone missing them today can return to them over coming months.’
    • ‘He is archiving hundreds of thousands of his photographs, some of which even he has never seen before, discarded as they were on rolls of undeveloped film.’
    file, log, catalogue, pigeonhole
    store, record, register, chronicle, cache
    document, put on record, post
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    1. 1.1Computing Transfer (data) to a less frequently used storage medium such as magnetic tape, typically external to the computer system and having a greater storage capacity.
      • ‘Tape is the overwhelming computer medium of choice for archiving.’
      • ‘You manage your e-mail by archiving it on cheaper storage devices.’
      • ‘Viacom has bought the storage system to archive Paramount's ‘Entertainment Tonight’ shows.’
      • ‘As the data ages even more, eventually the same migration software archives it onto a data warehouse for analysis, or onto tape and out the door to off-site vaults.’
      • ‘Tape remains a strong contender for long term data archiving and off-site storage.’


Early 17th century (in the sense place where records are kept): from French archives (plural), from Latin archiva, archia, from Greek arkheia public records from arkhē government The verb dates from the late 19th century.