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Ordering and using archival records

Use of archival records

The use of public archival records is defined by Slovenian archival legislation. Public archival records are available free of charge to anyone in the reading room of the Archives upon request. The visitor’s obligations and the use of archival records are defined by the reading room rules.

Placing orders

Visitors can order archival records in person in the information office or place an order by mail, telephone, e-mail or online query. Records ordered before 1 p.m. are made available for use the following workday at 8 a.m. Records kept in branch repositories will be made available for use within five workdays from the day of the order.

Should the user submit imprecise or insufficient data pertaining to the records requested, the Archives will be unable to meet the order. Archival personnel must within three working days request the user to complete his order.

Should the user not appear at the agreed date and fail to notify the Archives about his/her absence, the requested archival records will be returned to the repository after 7 workdays and the order will be cancelled.

Visitors may order a maximum of five technical units of archival records per day. New order can be placed after the previous order has been reviewed and returned. In placing his order, the user should not exceed the maximum order of five technical units at a time. Only one technical unit and one finding aid may be used at a time. The following are considered as technical units: archival box, folder, book, map, charter, microfilm, microfiche, audio- and videocassette, etc. These rules also apply to born-digital or digitized archival records, but not to primary/original finding aids such as ledgers, indexes, card indexes, and computer databases.

Use of film archival material

In the Archives, film archival material may be viewed on a viewing table or on video. The screening of films in cinemas is also possible, as is recording of records on film, electronic and optical media.

Film archival material should be used in compliance with the provisions of the Copyright and Related Rights Act. In the event that copyrights and related rights to film material that the user wishes to reproduce have not expired, which is applicable to the majority of film records, the user must fulfil his/her legal obligations towards the film’s makers, such as the film’s producer, director, screenplay writer, director of photography and other copyright holders, respecting all moral rights thereof.

The use of film archival material outside the Archives must be regulated by contract after prior copyright clearance.

The Archives reserves the right to charge a fee for the use of film archival material.

Access to archival records and restrictions

The use of archival records may be restricted for material reasons, lack of arrangement, or because the records are still being processed.  Records are inaccessible also when damaged, in poor physical condition, or likely to sustain further damage when used. In addition to material reasons, the use of archival records may be restricted also due to their content. Article 65 of the Slovenian archival law defines the periods of restricted access to archival records. Restrictions apply when archival records contain confidential or classified information, tax secrets or sensitive personal data.   

If archival records contain protected data, the restricted access shall apply only to individual documents that contain data protected by restricted access periods, and not to broader units of records. When individual documents contain data protected by restricted access periods as well as accessible data, an anonymized copy of the document shall be prepared, on which the data protected by restrictions are covered so that direct or indirect access is not enabled. The Archives informs the user about the restrictions and the time needed to prepare anonymized copies. During the time the user is waiting for the records to be prepared/anonymized, he/she can use other archival records that do not contain restricted data.

When archival records contain classified information or tax secrets, such records become available for use 40 years after its creation. Disclosure of such information to unauthorized persons could have harmful consequences either for the security of the state and of other persons or for their legal interests.

Public archival records may also contain so-called sensitive personal data. These may relate to:

  • health condition;
  • sexual life;
  • victims of criminal offences against sexual integrity, marriage, family and children;
  • perpetrators of criminal and minor offences, except for criminal and minor offences against which proceedings were conducted on the grounds of opposing the former one-party regime;
  • religious belief; and
  • ethnic origin.

Such information shall become available for public use 75 years after the creation of the records or 10 years after the death of the person to whom this data refers, if the date of death is known, unless otherwise provided by other regulations. Public archival records created before the constitution of the Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on 17 May 1990 shall be available without restrictions. However, the Archives is obligated to anonymize (black out) any above listed sensitive personal data so that direct or indirect access is not possible.

Access to archival records containing personal data is not restricted for individuals to whom the data refers, their trustees, legal representatives and heirs, as well as for state authorities, authorities of self-government communities or bearers of public authority which require these archival records for their work, or when persons require them for the assertion of their rights.

Based on a written request from the user, the director of the Archives may decide about possible exceptions. Regarding the periods of restricted access to archival records, the exceptions are decided by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia based on the opinion of the Archival Commission. The periods of restricted access to archival records may be extended or shortened. 

Private archival records are used in accordance with the relevant laws and other legal instruments based on which the Archives acquired such private archival records (agreement on the acquisition of archival records).

Where private archival records are only available under specific conditions, a person who wishes to use such records must obtain permission for their use from the owner as well as fulfil his/her potential obligations to the authors (moral and material copyrights).

Legal and natural persons that transfer archival records to the Archives, must indicate the types and dates of restricted use in the acquisition reports and in the agreements on the acquisition of archival records.

Archival reading room, information office, in-house library and the use of finding aids

Visitors are required to show their ID to the security guard upon entering the Archives. Upon their first visit to the reading room or information office (or at the start of each year), visitors are asked to sign a statement, confirming that they are acquainted with reading room rules.

Visitors to the Archives have at their disposal archival guides, inventories, catalogues and other finding aids (ledgers, indexes, card indexes, computer databases etc.). They can be examined in the information office, where visitors also order archival records, take over commissioned reproductions of archival records and obtain information on the use of them. Visitors may as well use the in-house library. 

When inspecting archival records, visitors are permitted to use only paper, pencil and laptop. The use of erasers, ballpoint pens, felt-tip pens, fountain pens and correction aids on the work desk is restricted. Users should place their personal belongings in lockers located on the ground floor or at the entrance to the reading room on the second floor.

Apart from archival records visitors to the reading room are allowed to keep on the table only the items that are indispensable for their work (i. e. paper, pencil, computer). Special permission must be obtained for the use of any other items.

Visitors are asked to exercise all possible care when handling archival records to prevent their damage or destruction. Archival records are to be used in such a way that their original arrangement is preserved. Should visitors damage or destroy archival records, they are obliged to cover the costs of restoration and conservation. Should visitors fail to follow the reading room regulations, reading room assistant may warn them and even prohibit them from further use of the records.

Under no circumstances are visitors allowed to take records out of the reading room. Upon leaving the reading room, visitors must return the records and notify the staff about any need for further use of the records.

Archival staff does not search archival records for data needed by visitors for their research and study purposes. They also do not transcribe and translate the records or perform other research work for the visitors. 

When publishing, exhibiting and reproducing the Archives' records, clear reference should be made to the Archives by providing the record's reference code and title.