Archival History Timeline: 2500 BCE – 1900 CE

2350-2300 BCE

2000 BCE

2000-1600 BCE

1782-1759 BCE

1500-700 BCE

1400-1200 BCE

1259 BCE

1100-1000 BCE

509-493 BCE

454-404 BCE

400 BCE
20 Greek cities started an archeion, or records storehouse

390-370 BCE

300-200 BCE
Palace archives are started in China, including the ‘Palace of Documents with the Golden Door.’

240 BCE

206 BCE

78 BCE


ca. 0-2000 CE

ca. 50 CE
Central archives in Roman Egypt at Alexandria are split into two archives — the Hadrianeion and the Nanaion

50-80 CE

ca. 100 CE

192 CE
Records of the Palatine (imperial archive in Rome) are destroyed.

492 CE

550-1300 CE

593 CE

751-794 CE

800-900 CE

845-882 CE

900-1000 CE

900-1000 CE

1030-1460 CE

1086 CE

1100 CE

1100-1700 CE
Municipal archives of Lisbon are maintained at Casa de Santo-Antonio

1102-1147 CE
Ibn al-Sayrafi, head of Fatimid chancery, writes “Code of the State Chancery,” defining duties of archivist and registrar

1120 CE
Paper expands to Fez and Ceuta

1127 CE
Genoa establishes its muniment room (chartier)

1150 CE

1184-1573 CE

1190-1209 CE

1198-1216 CE

1200-1838 CE

1204 CE

1257-1261 CE
Chanceries appear in Kraków and Wrocław in modern-day Poland

1262 CE

1278 CE

1280 CE

1286 CE

1304 CE

1307 CE

1318 CE

1320-1330 CE

1320-1370 CE
First recognizably modern inventories are made in England, Switzerland, France, and Italy

1322 CE

1322-1323 CE

1336 CE

1340-1348 CE
Possible first use of records for strictly historical research by Al-‘Umaria, secretary of Mamluk court, for production of an encyclopedia

1346 CE

1352-1378 CE

1353-1999 CE

1368-1644 CE

1392-1910 CE

1399 CE
Strasbourg in modern-day Germany builds a vaulted, fireproof room for the city’s documents and registers

1401 CE
Lausanne in modern-day Switzerland organizes its first archives

1411 CE
Oldest finding aid is located in the archives of Lausanne, in modern-day Switzerland

1419 CE

1436 CE

1450-1470 CE

1450-1941 CE

1471-1484 CE

1488 CE

1500-1600 CE

1500-1600 CE

1509 CE

1520 CE

1522 CE
Wilhelm Putsch, Secretary and Registrar of Upper Austria, reorganizes archives of German Holy Roman Empire, in Innsbruck and Vienna, in modern-day Austria

1532 CE
Catalogue of Portugal’s royal archives is drawn up in Lisbon, Portugal

1532-1533 CE

1534-1536 CE

1535 CE

1538 CE

1540-1544 CE

1540-1545 CE

1548-1571 CE

1550-1575 CE

1558-1574 CE

1559 CE

1561 CE

1569 CE

1569-1620 CE

ca. 1570 CE

1571 CE

1574-1585 CE

1578-1610 CE

1581 CE

1588 CE
First modern regulations for archival management, developed over two decades of work by Diego de Ayala in Philip II’s Spain

1588 CE

1588-1806 CE
The Prefect of Archives (Prefettura) controls work of notaries and archivists in over 500 notarial archives of the Catholic Church

1592 CE

1601 CE

1611-1612 CE

1611-1614 CE

1629 CE

1631 CE

1632 CE

1635 CE
Vatican archives gains independence from Vatican library, upon appointment of Felice Contelori as Prefect or Director of the Archives

1640 CE

1657 CE

1663-1676 CE

1664 CE

1680-1701 CE

1681 CE

1686-1688 CE

1690 CE

1700-1800 CE
In India, the kanungo (local recordkeeper) becomes a hereditary post, passed from father to son.

1713 CE

1714 CE
Archives of the Estates of Provence in Aix, modern-day France, are re-arranged in bags and labeled for ease of retrieval

1720 CE
A dedicated archives building for the Royal Archives (of Norway-Denmark) opens in Copenhagen, modern-day Denmark

1720s CE
Peter the Great of Russia defines a new administrative state and creates two central archives

1722-1789 CE

1731 CE

1731-1734 CE

1749 CE

1756 CE

1763 CE
State papers between King of France and government of New France are removed to France as part of Treaty of Paris

1764 CE
Collocation of two archives — Crown Archive and Archive of the Crown Register — in modern-day Warsaw, Poland

1765 CE

1766 CE

1770 CE
Census of France counts 5,700 repositories, including 1,700 landed estates

1773-1783 CE
The Bureau des Archives is established in the Netherlands as a central purpose-built repository for the government’s archives

1775-1800 CE

1777 CE
Diplomatics is offered as a course at University of Naples, in modern-day Italy

ca. 1778 CE
M. Mariée publishes Traité des archives, a major treatise with extensive detail on classification and equipment

1779 CE

1785 CE

1788 CE

1789-1790 CE

1790 CE
Governor of Quebec, Lord Dorchester, authorizes “Ordinance for the better preservation and due distribution of the ancient French records,” thereby giving the Governor authority to “make orders…touching the arrangement, removal, digesting, printing, publishing, distributing, preserving and disposing of” public records

1791 CE

1794 CE

1798 CE

1811 CE

1811-1813 CE
Banque de France, a public institution, introduces archival management and services

1812 CE
Request slips are introduced when researchers request documents in France’s National Archives

1821 CE

1821-1823 CE

1830-1885 CE

1831 CE

1832 CE

1838 CE

1840 CE

1840s CE

1842-1884 CE
Italian schools of archives (scuole di archivistica) open in Milan, Venice, Palermo, Florence, Genoa, Parma, Cagliari, Modena, Rome, and the Vatican

1849 CE

1854 CE
Austrian Institute of Historical Research is founded in Vienna, modern-day Austria

1856 CE

1861 CE

1867 CE

1871 CE

1874 CE

1876 CE
First journal to deal with archival profession, Archivalishes Zeitschrift, is published by State Archives of Bavaria, in modern-day Germany

1881-1884 CE

1887 CE

1892 CE
Fireproof archive building is constructed in Strasbourg, modern-day Germany

1894 CE

1910 CE

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