In Slovakia access to most records is provided pursuant to Act No. 395/2002 Coll., on archives and record services. This legal norm is less liberal than the archival law in effect in the Czech Republic, where an exemption from the protection of personal data is valid for the provision of access to the archival records in question. Based on the Slovak law, the archive must not provide access to documents if this would “threaten the rights and rightfully protected interests of living persons“. Here the norm clashes with Act No. 553/2002 Coll., on the Nation’s Memory Institute, which on the contrary entrusts the state with uncovering and providing access to information proving the participation of concrete persons in the creation and upholding of the criminal, illegitimate and deplorable Communist regime. This interest is higher than the interest of personal data protection. The access to documents is also limited in case this could threaten “the security of the state, its defence, foreign, political, economic or financial interests, or if this follows from international treaties which are binding for the Slovak Republic or from commitments ensuing from its membership in international organisations“. In the past years, the respective archival institution has been forthcoming to the researchers and has been providing access to most documents without limitations.
Institutions in charge of the archival records
The Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN) officially assumed its function as a public institution on 1 May 2003. It was created baed on Act No. 553/2002 Coll., on the Nation’s Memory Institute and on the amendment to further acts, which was adopted by the National council of the Slovak Republic in 2002. Its institutional component is the ÚPN Archive which took into its custody documents created by the activity of the State security and its security forces in the period from 18 April 1939 until 31 December 1989 and evidenced in record or archival aids (registries) of these forces or their superior bodies from those times. The holdings comprise 1,783 running metres. The ÚPN Archive is currently in charge of altogether 638 archival funds and collections. The procedure of providing access to records is set in the research rules available on the website of the Archive. In the field of archival science the ÚPN Archive is controlled by the Section on archives and record services of the Ministry of interior of the Slovak Republic.
Address: Archive of the Nation’s Memory Institute, Miletičova 7, 821 08 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel.:: +421 0255 571 764