Archives are those records, irrespective of their physical form, which are generally preserved on account of their enduring value by an organization or an individual responsible for its creation. It forms the integral part of every organization. They preserve the records essential not just for self-knowledge but also for the protection of the rights of the individual and the state.
Mostly archives are government managed organization. In many countries archives are framed under Archival legislation. Archiver are now entrusted to identify in a systematic manner from the great mass of records only those possessing permanent value for official and research purposes and for safeguarding the legal and other rights of the individual citizens.
The Archives are required to watch over the handling of records with the creating agencies when these are still required for the day-to-day transactions by the department to watch over the custody of the records in their semi-current stage in economical intermediate record centers. Generally, Archive institutions follow the thirty-five years date limit on access to documentary sources in the custody of archives. Mostly regional archives are controlled by State Archives under State Government except few controlled by National Archives. There is no centralization of Archives network. National Archives has formulated archival policy of providing training facilities and guidance to all archival agencies.
In India there is a National Archives in Delhi. State Archives are controlled by State Government with three Regional Archives. There are private archives functioning under the guidance of National and State Archives.