The International Council on Archives (ICA) is dedicated to the effective management of records and the preservation, care and use of the world's archival heritage through its representation of records and archive professionals across the globe. Archives are an incredible resource. They are the documentary by-product of human activity and as such are an irreplaceable witness to past events, underpinning democracy, the identity of individuals and communities, and human rights. But they are also fragile and vulnerable. The ICA strives to protect and ensure access to archives through advocacy, setting standards, professional development, and enabling dialogue between archivists, policy makers, creators and users of archives.
The ICA is a neutral, non-governmental organisation, funded by its membership, which operates through the activities of that diverse membership. For over sixty years ICA has united archival institutions and practitioners across the globe to advocate for good archival management and the physical protection of recorded heritage, to produce reputable standards and best practices, and to encourage dialogue, exchange, and transmission of this knowledge and expertise across national borders. With approximately 1600 members in 199 countries and territories the Council's ethos is to harness the cultural diversity of its membership to deliver effective solutions and a flexible, imaginative profession.
The ICA is a truly international organisation which works with decision-makers at the highest level. As well as working closely with intergovernmental bodies such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe, the ICA has close connections with other non-governmental organisations such as the International Committee of the Blue Shield.