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News, Speeches

President Begaj’s Speech on the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Central State Archive

Distinguished researchers, archivists, and archive directors,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my special pleasure to partake in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Central State Archive. As an institution that collects, preserves, and manages historical documents, the Central State Archive also plays a unique role in shaping our collective memory and national consciousness.

The foundation of this institution was a historic moment for us. Naturally, Albania has a relatively new history of the Central Archive compared to its ancient past. However, this increases the significance of this institution in preserving our material, cultural, and historical heritage.

This systematically organized memory, spanning over 200 million documents across 13 state archives, including rarities like the medieval Codex collection of Berat, connects us to antiquity and the traditions of other European countries.

The documents and materials preserved in these archives are the most reliable witnesses to our history. Their study by both local and foreign researchers and historians helps us understand our roots, appreciate the efforts of previous generations, and build a better future on this solid foundation. Promoting and providing access to such treasures is crucial for an objective understanding of our past.

I wish to also emphasize an aspect I consider important. Alongside its connection to history, the state archive serves a very current role: it is a public service. This public service guarantees a fundamental human right—the preservation of life documentation and especially private property ownership. Therefore, archives must be open, public, and transparent, naturally within the confines allowed by legislation and ethics. We still vividly recall the immeasurable damages suffered by individuals and society when archives are cloaked in secrecy or privileged access.

The Central Archive, in a democratic, modern, and European state, should be an institution that not only collects and preserves but also inspires and promotes diversity, accessibility, and transparency to the public.

Ladies and gentlemen,
In the modern era, technology has changed how we store and access information. The implementation of digitization technology in the State Archive has been a significant step towards preserving documents and facilitating public access to them. Digitization not only helps protect precious materials from physical damage but also makes searching and using them by researchers, historians, and the general public easier and faster.

Naturally, the work and dedication of the archivists and staff of the Central Archive are paramount. Their scholarly abilities are intertwined with historical knowledge to understand the challenges facing a nation. From this scientific dimension, a cultural and intellectual relationship is formed that connects the archive with society.

Therefore, I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to all the staff of the Central State Archive for their commitment and dedication. You are, in a sense, the guardians of our history. Your work is essential for preserving and documenting our national heritage. This commitment to access and transparency is the foundation on which the public’s trust in you is built.

In closing, I want to stress the importance of investing in agriculture, tourism, road infrastructure, and many other areas. However, we must not forget to invest in our collective memory, in the infrastructure and human resources of archives. This is imperative for our nation, for Albanianess, for the future.

Thank you and congratulations on this significant anniversary!