The Role and Organisation of European Union National Archives
: An Application and Evolution of the Dresner Model

  • Charles Farrugia

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study explores the characteristics of national archive institutions in the EU in the twenty-first century. In so doing it attempts to identify common patterns or trends in the different groupings within the EU. It provides a case study of the development of national archives in the United Kingdom, Finland and Cyprus. It also tests the Performance Culture Maturity Model, developed by Howard Dresner, on the case studies. The study adds to the knowledge about the management hierarchies of EU national archives. It also starts the debate on whether the nature of archival institution under focus needs an ad hoc model to assess its performance. The literature review established that studies focusing on the internal structures of EU national archives are scarce. Data on the application of management models targeted at measuring the internal performance of these institutions, and that allows for a comparative analysis between them, are even scarcer. In order to fill this gap in knowledge a variety of methodologies were used. The investigation relied on a review of current historical literature and theory about the national archive institution, an EU-wide questionnaire aimed at collecting base-line data and views from the members of the national archives community, and interviews with the middle-management of the entities identified for the case studies. The study has built a profile of the nature and organisational structures of national archives in the EU. It has also tested the Dresner methodology on this typology and identified where it can be applied successfully and where not. In so doing, it highlighted certain roles these organisations play that are not adequately represented in the model. The study suggests that adaptations to the model can form the basis of a future study aimed at creating a better yardstick for the performance of EU national archives institutions. It also proposes ground work thinking on what adaptations can be made to the model to render it more applicable to EU national archives
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University

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