Artificial Intelligence as a risk and opportunity for the authenticity of archives

The purpose of this project is to conceptualise and guide the design of AI based methods which embody and address archival professional imperatives by using open and available datasets from the Swedish National Archives (Riksarkivet) and the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet).

The project also aims to articulate Swedish archival imperatives (e.g., archival diplomatics, automatic classification and community assessment) conceptualise and guide the design of AI systems to support imperatives provide an evaluative framework to assess AI implementation and performance including societal impact, providing means to maintain and assess the authenticity of human memory.

This project will fulfill a series of objectives which include matching archival imperatives with AI possibilities by surveying AI implementations and technologies, and archival principles and problematics, including diplomatics and service objectives by creating an archival AI Conceptual Framework (CF).

Moreover, other objectives include formulating an evaluative methodology to assess the performance of the CF; exploring how archival AI implementations would address wider societal issues, such as: aligning archives to heritage futures (service objectives) and addressing issues of fake news and propagandistic/inauthentic cultural appropriations (diplomatics).

Research questions

In order to achieve the ROs above the project addresses two sets of research questions:

  1. What would AI-based approaches on archival principles look like? What possibilities do they suggest about humane AI development? Do they counter the “black box” character of AI?
  2. What benefits would an archival AI offer an institution and society? Could it help future-proof cultural heritage institutions, i.e., foster heritage futures? Can an archival AI, outside the archival setting, serve public interest (e.g., combating fake news and propaganda)?


Principal investigators

Anna Foka, Uppsala University
Koraljka Golub, Linnaeus University


Isto Huvila, Uppsala University
Larissa von Bychelberg, Uppsala University
Johannes Widegren, Linnaeus University
Ahmad Kamal, Linnaeus University
Marcelo Milrad, Linnaeus University
Saara Taalas, Linnaeus University

Advisory Board

Ulrike Wuttke, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
Osma Suominen, University of Helsinki and National Library of Finland 
Francesco Gelati, Hamburg University Archives
Dennis Hormuth, Hamburg University Archives
Maria Press, Riksarkivet

Participating organizations

Linnaeus University, Uppsala University


Wallenberg Foundations’ research programme WASP-HS


15 August 2023 to 14 August 2028

More information

Anton Grabolle / Better Images of AI / Classification Cupboard / CC-BY 4.0
Senast uppdaterad: 2024-03-13