(also archives [plural]) a collection of historical documents or records of a government, a family, a place or an organization; the place where these records are stored the National Sound Archive archive film The BBC's archives are bulging with material. Word Origin early 17th cent. (in the sense ‘place where records are kept’): from French archives (plural), from Latin archiva, archia, from Greek arkheia
‘public records’, from arkhē ‘government’. The verb dates from the late 19th cent.Extra examples The data is now held in the company archives. The programme is preserved in the BBC sound archives. The recordings are preserved in the museum’s sound archives. There are many clues hidden among the archives of the local museum. There were ambitious plans to open the archives to the public. We are collecting documents to build up an archive. archive footage of the victory celebrations some photographs from the library’s archives the building which houses the state archives the person responsible for keeping the archives He searched through the archives for previous owners of the house. It is one of the most important film archives in the world. Newsreels make up an archive of great historical value. The information was added to the main college archive. The recording is preserved in the BBC’s sound archive. These papers are an important part of the national archive. They are trying to create an archive of spoken language.