The archives of science document one of humankind’s greatest sagas. They comprise stories of discovery, invention, cures and exploration. As such, these archives should be captured, preserved and shared, much like our cultural and social heritage. To this end, archivists need to find ways of collaborating with scientists to best capture scientific material for future preservation without interrupting the scientific process.

Better understanding how this collaboration might work was the subject of a Workshop on Scientific Archives in November 2016, organised by EMBL. Following its success, the EMBL Archivist and archivists from four other institutions founded an international committee on the Contemporary Archives of Science and Technology (CAST) within the Section on University and Research Institution Archives of the International Council on Archives.

Chief among this committee’s objectives is to organise meetings between archivists and scientists to discuss each other’s needs and work practices. This will help develop practical ways of working together so that the documentary heritage of science can be preserved for future generations. The EMBL Archivist will continue to participate in these activities and work with colleagues to best preserve and share EMBL’s scientific achievements.