Contradictory and different attempts of Iranian scholars and government in foundation of National Archive (1953-1970)

Foundation of national organizations has several thousand years of background. An orderly archive and filing system for state documents is one of the positive aspects of this old civilization and it has been present over Iranian history. In the contemporary age and especially in the middle of Qajar Government (middle of the 19th century), the need for creation of a modern filing system was obvious due to development of administrative system and increase in the number of ministries. This was first established in foreign ministry and then followed in state departments. After several decades, a large bulk of important documents were created but there was no longer enough space for keeping them and the government spent huge amounts of money on keeping the documents. On the other hand, their storage conditions were poor and the documents might have been damaged. Therefore, since 1950, the government and scholars (who were more familiar with archive function and historical documents value) tried to organize the documents which had accumulated over centuries. Of course, statesmen thought about the establishment of a central or national archives, which was actually accumulation of documents in a particular place. Nevertheless, scholars considered the national archive as a place for producing different studies. Both groups tried to implement their own thoughts. In 1953, the first practical steps were taken for the formulation of a plan for national archive, and this continued until 1970. Since then, 16 texts have been proposed as constitution of this organization. Finally, both streams of thoughts were combined to form an organization called “organization of Iranian National Documents”.

Gholamhossein Nezami founded Archive and National Library of Bushehr Province in 2006 and has been heading the department since then. He has a PhD in history and has authored 8 books and more than 50 papers presented at national and international conferences and published in scientific journals. As his latest written work, he has wrote a book entitled “History of National Iranian Archive”.