Call for Action: Petition for Access to French Public Archives of Contemporary History

Zaira Bulgheroni Opportunities

In February 2020, a group of French historians, who are part of the Network of Concerned Historians, created a petition with the goal of lifting restrictions to public archives of contemporary history in France.

Over the past years, the French government have been tightening rules and regulations concerning the public archives of contemporary history (1940–1970). This has hindered research about topics, such as the Second World War and the decolonisation of Algeria. The Network of Concerned Historians is aware that the protection of secret records is highly important, however, in this case, the recent regulations infringe against the Heritage Code which stipulates that archives containing sensitive information must be made accessible to all after a period of fifty years.

For this reason, the Network of Concerned Historians call anyone interested in safeguarding the freedom of thought and expression in the areas of historical research and teaching to join and sign this petition.