An archive is generally understood to be a place for the storage of information for the future. In reference to electronic archives, this means providing a system which ensures three key points:
- Record management: The information media must be unalterable, traceable, and retrievable, and guarantee completeness.
- Storage: This area of the archive serves only for the temporary storage of information; none of the information held here is considered to be worth archiving/required to be archived.
- Preservation: This area of the archive serves for the long-term, stable, static, and unchangeable storage and safeguarding of information.