FAQ

What does arCHeco stand for?
arCHeco is the abbreviation for "archives économiques". The capital letters stand for Switzerland, more precisely for Confederatio Helvetica.

What is arCHeco?
arCHeco is a directory of economic records in public and private (company) archives in Switzerland and in the Principality of Liechtenstein.

What is the central idea behind arCHeco?
In Switzerland a lack in transmission, accessibility and use of archives for research of economic records can be noticed. The directory arCHeco offers, for the first time, an overview of economic records in Switzerland and in the Principality of Liechtenstein. arCHeco is a working tool for economic history research. It tries to sensitise enterprises and archivists for the value of their collections as a source for internal managerial information and for historiography.

Who are the people behind arCHeco?
arCHeco is an initiative that was launched by the Business Archivists Group of the Association of Swiss Archivists (ASA). The Business Archivists Group is responsible for the contextual concept, the Swiss Economic Archives (SWA) is responsible for the technical-organisational part. The costs are taken over by the ASA and the SWA.

Which record groups can be found in arCHeco?
Mainly archives of firms who volunteered for entering their data in the directory and records groups of private economy that are held by public institutions can be found.
Including:
-private enterprises
-economical organisations (trade associations, chambers, professional associations and trade unions)
-cooperatives (purchase, production, distribution)
-health insurances and self-help organisations
-archives of public domains plus record groups of state provenience
-private households
-personal papers
-documents of enterprises, personalities or scientists active in economic politics.

Will I find archives of major companies and archives of the public sector in arCHeco?
So far about 50 company archives are included. The list is work in progress.

Will I also find annual reports, company anniversary publications or other company publications in arCHeco?
No, arCHeco only includes information about archival record groups (original documents deriving from business activities of a company, a trade association or a person). Sporadic company publications, that might be inherent in these record groups, are not specifically mentioned.
Company documentations, collections of management reports, company anniversary publications, newspaper articles and other documentation material, as they are for example collected by the Swiss Economic Archives, are not listed in arCHeco.

To which depth are the records described?
The directory gives basic information. The description is carried out on the level of record groups and contains internationally standardized minimal descriptions such as reference number, title, inclusive dates, volume, content, access regulations, finding aids and cognate record groups. In addition information specific for company archives such as name of the company, domicile or economic sector of the creator of records are listed. Information regarding company history, bibliographic indications etc. are optional. For detail information the user needs to consult the catalogues of the archiving institutions.

How often is the data in arCHeco updated? How can data be updated?
The data are regularly updated by the operators. We are grateful for information on new record groups and updates.
Best is to contact the Business Archivist Group.

We also have economic record groups in our archive. How can we participate in arCHeco?
The operators keep the work for the participating institutions as low as possible. The work that has already been carried out is being used. And the integration of the data is carried out by the operators.
Best is to contact the Business Archivist Group.

arCHeco is based on which technology?
The directory, which went online in 2000, was based on a static html-version. In 2009 the migration to a database version using MySQL started. Since 2019, arCHeco is based on the open source software Access to Memory (AtoM)>