ESA’s archives are going digital to reach a wider public. We’re releasing the historical documents of ESA’s predecessor organisations in a move coinciding with the celebration of 30 years of cooperation with the Historical Archives of the European Union at the European University Institute in Florence.
The deposit of ESA’s historical materials at the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) began with an agreement signed between ESA and the European University Institute (EUI) on 12 May 1989. Since then, more than 50 000 original papers have been preserved in the HAEU in Villa Salviati, Florence.
Last year, we embarked on an ambitious project to open up these archives to the general public, which up to now have been only accessible to visiting researchers. The first results of this digital transformation give electronic access to the archives of ESA’s predecessor organisations.
These are the European Preparatory Commission for Space Research (COPERS or Commission Préparatoire Européenne de Recherches Spatiales), the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) and the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO), as well as the European Space Conferences and the European Conferences on Satellite Communications.
These five collections represent the first decade of the European space effort, which started with the Conference of Meyrin in 1960 and leads to the adoption of the ESA Convention in 1975 by European ministers during the last meeting of the European Space Conference in Brussels. The public will have access to works, for example, by the ‘founding fathers of European space’, Edoardo Amaldi and Pierre Auger.
To mark the occasion of this anniversary, a Letter of Intent will be signed on 2 May to continue and deepen the fruitful partnership between ESA and the HAEU.
For more information
Contact ESA Archives at: archive.services @ esa.int