International Council on Archives

Postal address

60, rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75003 PARIS


+33 (0)1 40 27 63 06


+33 (0)1 42 72 20 65




The International Council on Archives is a professional, international, non-governmental organization representing the interests of archives and archivists world-wide. The ICA aims to promote the preservation, development and use of the world's archival heritage.


The ICA was founded in 1948. It brought together national archive administrations, professional associations of archivists, regional, local and other archives, and individual archivists. Today ICA has more than 1,450 members in 170 countries. It is a non-governmental organization, which means that the policy of ICA is independent of the political process. ICA works in close co-operation with inter-governmental organizations like UNESCO and the Council of Europe. It also maintains close ties with other non-governmental organizations.

The top decision making body is the General Assembly, which meets every four years.

The Round Table Conference of Archives is the intellectual flagship of ICA. CITRA consists of representatives of national archive administrations, national professional associations and the Chairs of ICA sections which meet annually.


- Development Programme

promoting the advancement of archives and provide a forum for co-operation in Regional Branches, like:

  • ESARBICA (Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch), founded in 1969, member a.o the National Archives of South Africa;
  • SWARBICA (South and West Asian Regional Branch), founded in 1978, member a.o. the National Archives of Sri Lanka, the National Archives of India and the Tamil Nadu Archives;
  • SARBICA (Southeast Asian Regional Branch), founded in 1968, member a.o. National Archives of Indonesia.

- European Programme

supporting the new democracies in East and Central European countries in:

  • dealing with huge groups of records which were formerly closed to access but now in demand;
  • regulating archival affairs.

- Professional Programme:

  • bringing together in sections individuals and institutions sharing common professional concerns in sections;
  • setting up committees and project groups to examine specific questions of relevance to the archival profession.

- Publications programme and the keeping up to date of the ICA Web Site.

- Conferences and congresses programme.

- Developing international standards, like:

  • ISAD(G) General International Standard Archival Description;
  • ISAAR(CPF) International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families.


  • Comma (ICA professional journal)
  • Flash (ICA bulletin)
  • ICA bibliographies
  • ICA standards
  • ICA studies
  • Buildings Case Studies
  • proceedings, minutes, reports and other other official documents 

click here to download these publications

  • Guides to the Sources of the History of Nations. These guides describe mainly the archives and manuscripts for the history of Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania, which are kept in archival institutions and libraries in Europe and North America.

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