National Central Archives in Bucharest
The Central National Historical Archives in Bucharest (ANIC), located in Bucharest, is the main branch of the National Archives of Romania. The national archive system is financed by and operates under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It is divided into one central branch in Bucharest, one local branch also in Bucharest, and forty-one county branches. Its main purpose is to collect, preserve, and make available to Romanian and foreign citizens documents created by Romanian state institutions (including religious ones) and personalities who played an important role in the political, social, and cultural life of Romania. Besides archival documents, the National Archives branches house an impressive library with periodicals, incunabula, manuscripts, old books, maps, and photographs.
The organisation of the national archives dates back to the nineteenth century (1831 in Wallachia and 1832 in Moldavia) when a new set of laws called Regulamentul Organic (Organic Regulation) was implemented. The following years witnessed an increased concern for drafting regulations about the selection, preservation, and use of archival documents (Berciu-Drăghicescu 1994, 39–40, 46–47). After the creation of the Romanian state through the union of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1859, the archival system was reorganised. Thus, in 1862 the State Archives established a central branch in Bucharest to which the division in Iași was subordinated (Dobrincu, Marin, and Muraru 2009, 5). After the incorporation of Transylvania, Bukovina, the Banat, and Bessarabia in the Romanian state in the aftermath of the World War I, the national archives underwent a new reorganisation and three new regional branches were established in Cluj-Napoca, Cernăuți, and Chișinău. In 1925 a new law of archives was passed and several other regional branches were created (Berciu-Drăghicescu 1994, 54–56).
The administrative territorial reorganisations of Romania after the establishment of communist rule in 1948 changed again the structure of the national archive system. Thus, each territorial unit (region or county) had its own local archive branch (Berciu-Drăghicescu 1994, 56–57) with the exception of the Romanian Capital where two archive branches functioned: one for the city of Bucharest (from 1950) and another as the Central National Historical Archives (Dobrincu, Marin, and Muraru 2009, 9, 45). The latter collected and organised the archives of the central state institutions and also those created by personalities who had played an important role in the political, social, and cultural life of Romania. In 1985, due to the programme of urban systematisation, the headquarters of the Central National Historical Archives was demolished along with the building of the Mihai Vodă Monastery. The offices and the entire archival collection were moved to the current location of the National Archives in Bucharest (Dobrincu, Marin, and Muraru 2009, 9).
The Central National Historical Archives hosts several collections reflecting cultural opposition to the communist regime, such as the Monica Lovinescu and Virgil Ierunca collection and the Gabanyi collection. It is divided into departments on the basis of their daily activity and the types of archives managed: “Public Relations Office”; “Office of Administrative and Cultural Archives”; “Office of Contemporary Archives”; “Office of Economic Archives”; “Office of Medieval Archives, Personal Fonds, and Collections”; and “Office of Technical Archives and Recordings” (Dobrincu, Marin, and Muraru 2009, 10). Between 2008 and 2018 the Central National Historical Archives alone or in partnership with various foreign or Romanian institutions began an ambitious program of digitisation aimed at creating an online database of medieval documents, a virtual archive of genealogy, and an online photo library of Romanian communism.
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Date of founding
Acronym (if any)
Type of organisation
- Government/State organisation
Author(s) of this page
- Marin, Manuela
Main actor of
Berciu-Drăghicescu, Adina. 1997. Arhivistică: Curs general (Archivistics: A General Course). București: Editura Universității București.
Dobrincu, Dorin, Șerban Marin, and Andrei Muraru. 2009. Ghidul Arhivelor Naționale ale României (Guide to the National Archives of Romania).