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International Archive Week 2023

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International Archives Week 2023


5 TO 9 JUNE 2023

From Monday 5 to Friday 9 June 2023, the International Council on Archives ICA, will celebrate the fifth International Archives Week IAW2023. ICA invites archival and records management professionals and organizations to promote archives institutions, collections and profession.

Wikimedia Switzerland and the Association of Swiss Archivists VSA-AAS want to give an impulse to support this initiative. In consulting the geographical map linked below, you will immediately see, that there is a lot to catch up regarding Wikimedia content on archives institutions in Switzerland. We want to make a call to improve the presence of Swiss Archives in the Wikimedia Projects.

We thank all the volunteers and authors engaging in our projects and we hope you will continue to make a contribution to free archival knowledge by adding and completing the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and the Wikimedia sister projects on topics related to the Archives in general (ethic, profession, collections, institutions, etc.). In keeping with the International Archives Week, we invite you to help us completing and improving the presence of archives on Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata.

Thank you for participating!


An initiative by Wikimedia Switzerland and the Association of Swiss Archivists

Swiss Archives Landscape

In Switzerland, Archives institutions reflects our political system, known as federalism. In Switzerland, you will find three layers of public institutions:

  • Swiss Federal Archives
  • State or Cantonal Archives
  • Cities Archives

The Swiss Federal Archives, based in Bern, were founded in 1798. They are the only one based on federal law. The building and its collections are a Swiss heritage site of national significance. In 2018 the archives held over 66,000 linear meters of printed documents and 20.7 terabytes of digital documents.

The Cantonal or State Archives are the public archives of the different states of the Confederation (the cantons). They are the oldest public repositories and contain the essential sources of the history of the cantonal territories from the origins of administrative writing to the present day.

Communal or Cities Archives are the archives produced by the mayor's office and the municipal services of the political communes in Switzerland (also called "local public archives", "municipal archives"), as well as the archives formerly produced locally by other institutions such as the parishes (or "parish archives") and the bourgeoisies. They preserve all documents relating to local government.

To this public institutions landscape, we have to add private archives.

Consult the Geographic Archives Map for linked Wikimedia Content

The following geographic map locates Archives in Switzerland based on Wikidata records. If you want to know which archives already have a Wikipedia article and which do not, as well as the respective quality of the article, you can find out by using the link to the map below. If you are a Wikidata expert, help us to improve and inject additional meta data into Wikidata to complete the information base for archives in Switzerland.

Have fun exploring!

Archives institutions Map for Switzerland

How to participate & contribute

Wikipedia Articles
As a beginner or intermediate Wikipedia author you can contribute for example by improving and completing an existing article, inserting appropriate images and image galleries, inserting links to archival collections on webarchives and portals, updating info boxes or inserting Wikidata info boxes into Wikipedia articles. If you are an expert Wikipedia author you might engage in creating a completely new article. You can consult the geographic archives map and explore archives with no article, and write about a cultural institution or translate an existing article in a different language. Please remember, if you want your new article about an archive to be reflected on the geographic map, you have to interlink it in the Wikidata record of the respective cultural institution.
Wikimedia Commons
If you like to work with media files, you might want to upload collections, archives related images and documents to Wikimedia Commons. Please remember that taking onsite photographs need to be compliant with the legal framework when uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. Maybe you still have many images, you did not have time to share and upload into Wikimedia Commons. Nevertheless, some institutions have released images collections and documents under a free license the past years. The collections are accessible through their portal or webarchive but are not yet available in Wikimedia Commons or embedded in a Wikipedia article.
If you like to work with meta data, you can help us to complete the geographical visualization on archives in Switzerland linked to Wikimedia content on Wikidata. Every contribution counts.
  • The Association of Swiss Archivists VSA-AAS made a list on their website with all the archives who participate.
  • Europeana-Sammlungen online Link
  • UNESCO Digitale Bibliothek - Open-Access-Material für die Forschung Link
  • Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv Online-Zugang Link
  • Archivbestand der ETH-Bibliothek Link
  • e-Helvetica der Schweizerischen Nationalbibliothek Link
  • Archivdatenbank der Schweizerischen Nationalbibliothek Link
  • Bilder-Archiv Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Volkskunde Link
  • Zugang zu den audiovisuellen Archiven des IKRK Link
  • Online-Katalog der Schweizerischen Nationalphonothek Link

Contact us!

If you like to contribute to this Wikimedia project, you need support in the activities for International Archives Week, or you want to learn more about the association, contact us directly.

For voluntary community
DE: ulrich.lantermann(_AT_)wikimedia.ch
FR: flor.mechain(_AT_)wikimedia.ch
IT: lia.beretta(_AT_)wikimedia.ch
Tech support
Press contact
Kerstin Sonnekalb, press(_AT_)wikimedia.ch