Archives are information service providers. Unlike libraries, their subject matter is mainly that information, which is not intended for publication. For centuries it was the task of archives to preserve and protect this information as sovereign knowledge. Even today, archives hold information worthy of protection, personal data as well as that which is subject to the protection of secrets. And the preservation and protection of this information is still one of the core tasks of archives. In a democratic information society such as ours, however, unconditional access to this information is a valuable asset.
Archival laws harmonize the different demands made on the handling of the information contained in archival sources. The Federal Archives Act (Bundesarchivgesetz) applies to federal institutions, while the state archives acts (Landesarchivgesetze) apply to state authorities.
ARCHIVE REGULATION OF THE TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITÄT ILMENAU
The archive regulation of the Technische Universität Ilmenau is based in the provisions on the Thuringian Archive Law. At present, the statutes for the Ilmenau University Archives are being revised in order to adapt them to current case law. Until the new archive statutes are issued by the rectorate, the archive regulation from 1997 remain valid - as does the corresponding application procedure.
THURINGIAN ARCHIVES ACT
The Thuringian Archives Act (2018) provides the framework law for the work of the Ilmenau University Archives. It enables the Thuringian universities to maintain their own archives. (§ 4a ThürArchivG) Furthermore, it defines the tasks and responsibilities of the public archives of the state of Thuringia and anchors the right of access for everyone, taking into account the interests of third parties worthy of protection.
GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (2016) serves to protect the fundamental rights of natural persons with regard to the processing and disclosure of personal data. However, to ensure that these rights do not conflict with the regulations of national archiving law (e.g. with regard to the right to deletion), Section 89 makes an exception in favour of archiving in the public interest.
THURINGIA TRANSPARENCY ACT
The Thuringian Transparency Act (2019) regulates the right to information of the public administration for everyone and takes the authorities in the duty to make information relevant to the public transparent. For the Technische Universität Ilmenau, the law applies only to a limited extent (Section 2 (4) ThürTG). It is only applicable to the records in the university's interim archive. However, Thuringian Archive Act takes the idea of the Transparency Act into account by exempting archive records that were already made accessible before they were handed over to the archive from the protection period regulation (ThürArchivG § 17 para. 2).
ACT ON THE RE-USE OF INFORMATION HELD BY PUBLIC BODIES
The Information Re-use Act (2006) regulates the re-use of official information on a mandatory basis for public bodies. This also includes the public archives. The obligation to re-use extends to both the information held in the archives and the data created by the archives themselves. However, archives are limited in their further use by various protective rights, such as the right of personality or copyright.
ACT ON COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS
The Copyright Act (1965) protects the creator's right to his intellectual works. In archives, numerous sources with the character of a work are kept, be it photographs or texts, which reach a certain level of creation compared to administrative documents. In order to make these sources accessible, the regulations of copyright law must be taken into account. However, the regulations on limitations restrict these rights in the context of personal use (Section 53 UrhG) and scientific research (Section 60c UrhG).