The word file is generally used to designate to that place whose purpose is the collection and preservation of documentsusually produced in another place and as a result of the realization of their respective activities, which can be, as I said, documents, books, old newspaper clippings, among others and that obviously have a vital importance when trying to dive into the identity and the historical reconstruction of a nation for example.
Also, these places are usually a place of systematic and recurring consultation by historians, scholars of certain aspects and benefits of the past and primary, secondary or university students who are sent by their teachers to make contact with this type of places and become get used to using them as consultation methods when carrying out special works. Thus, libraries are the great archive reservoirs of the last centuries.
Meanwhile, and not escaping from the rigors of polysemy, the word archive is also used to refer to the documentary collection itself.
Before, I commented on the scope of the term more than anything relating it to the historical edge of a country, however, a person, a company, a sanatorium, a hospital and the different organizations that exist usually have a file in which they dump all their activity. The General Archives of the different nations preserve unique information in relation to the historical and cultural life of their peoples and are part of the true heritage of those states.
Obviously, this question must be carried out following strict organizational criteria so that when the time comes to search for a specific material it is easy to detect it; For example, in the case of a hospital to easily find the clinical history of a patient if the need for interconsultation arises or, in the case of a legal office, the file of a case in which they intervened. Likewise, a correct classification system of the files of a hospital or sanatorium is the only way to generate adequate scientific studies of methodological quality, a fact that characterizes the health systems of first world nations.
However, and as a consequence of the growing presence of technology in our lives and in our days, in recent years another type of file has been imposed: the computer file, which is also a set of information or documents but what will change is the storage medium that will no longer be a visible physical place, but one that can be read through a computer, the most common being diskettes, compact discs (CDs) or flash drives. However, these files, despite being intangible, occupy a space or “weight” quantified in the amount of information they contain (bytes or their multiples). Therefore, they significantly reduce the space allocated to the inventory of books, libraries or other structures, although the progressive accumulation of digital elements will sooner or later also become a large space to reduce. In this sense, the Internet has become the great library of contemporary times, with the possibility of storing files online and minimizing and unexpectedly reducing the need for real space on personal systems.
Therefore, the concept of the archive occupies numerous possible alternatives for the current mentality, in which the tradition of the old libraries is intertwined with the rapid relevance of computer resources. In any case, it is clear that the final idea of the source of information has not abandoned the idea of archives throughout the history of humanity, its culture and its development.