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The Role of Archives and Archivists in the Period of Transformation into Supranationalism from Nationalism for the Purpose of Permanent Peace: Focused on the Establishment of European Community Archives and the Activities of the German Archivists for the Redressing the Common European Past

  • The Korean Journal of Archival Studies
  • 2010, (23), pp.227-256
  • Publisher : Korean Society Of Archival Studies
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science

Meung-Hoan Noh 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper has two aims (1) to address the common European past by way of considering the development of the official archives of the European Union; and (2) to give specific attention to the activities of archivists in Germany. The EU archives contain the all the documents officially recording the common history of European integration from the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. It was at the beginning of the 1980s, thirty years after the production of these documents, however, that the Archives of the European Community (EC) began to be systematized for public use when the European University Institute in Florence in Italy was chosen as the deposit location for the archive. After the coming into effect of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, the EC Archives were renamed as the EU Archives. Through the cooperation of the national archives of the each Member State of the EU with this EC Archives common norms regarding deposit were developed. This archives is a veritable gold mine for serious research into all and any official aspect of the institutional and policy history of today's EU, so for the formation of common European identity. The denazification process using the evidence of the archives contributed to the orientation of the New Germany towards Europe. The German archives then have been contributing to the redressing the past to a significant degree since after the Second World War. More recently, the establishment of the “Memory, Responsibility, and Future” Foundation in 2000 in Germany made possible cooperations with the archives of the East European countries and especially for the purpose of the providing evidence about former enforced workers under the Nazi regime. There has thus been developed European-wide networks among archives. These developments have furthered the common redressing of the European past and this process in turn has been contributing the enhancing the European spirit and identity. The thesis of this paper then is that historical research based on the EU archives and individual Member States can not only illuminate in great detail the stages of the history of European integration to date. The dissemination of such research can itself contribute to the process of the spreading of supranational ideas beyond Europe to other regions of the world.

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