7.1. Archival legislation
Archival institutions are service organisations. whose existence stems from the need to cater for records and archives that have been generated. Whether at federal, central government or local authority level, these organisms comprise a number of units each of which has its own authority within certain defined limits. The archival institution is therefore external to these units in so far as it is not a component of, or particular to any one of them. Being an outsider the archival institution therefore requires a defined basis for providing its services.
In most countries there are Acts of Parliament or decrees that provide the legislative authority required for these services to operate. These acts and decrees define the rights of the archival institutions and provide it with the authorisation necessary for it to carry out its functions. The work of the archival institutions is necessarily determined by the powers so conferred. Various studies and comparisons have been made of the legislations that exist in various countries, and the general provisions of the legislations include:
7.1.1 A definition of the materials that constitute records and archives with distinctions being made between public records and public archives and perhaps between these and private records and archives.
7.1.2 A definition of the powers of the institution in respect of:
126.96.36.199 The ability to inspect defined records and archives.
188.8.131.52 The supervision of the welfare of the records and archives.
184.108.40.206 The transfer of records from the creating agencies to the archival institution. 7.1.3 The rights of individuals and citizens in accessing records and archives.
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