The protection of the integrity of records can sometimes be taken for granted by archivists. It is easy to forget that archivists’ custody and care of records does not automatically protect the integrity of records. There are some extreme examples, such as fully incomplete records, records that have been altered irregularly, and archivists who were accused of intentionally manipulating records. Even though these situations probably don’t occur very often in most European countries, it is clear that the objectivity and impartiality of archivists will always be of the utmost importance, especially in the context of promoting the accessibility of records.
The ICA Code of Ethics reminds archivists that their primary duty is to maintain the integrity of the records. Society may ask archivists to make records more available and accessible through digitization projects and other means, which is indeed an extremely important task for the archival community in today’s global information society. However, increased accessibility does not make the protection of the integrity of records any less necessary. What does the protection of the integrity of records mean in today’s digital global information society? This paper will discuss the difficult balance between the accessibility of records and the integrity of records, and will look at some examples.