The earliest modern archive in Armenia was created in 1920 when Revolutionary Museum attached to the ASSR People’s Commissariat of Enlightening had an archive department. In the newspaper "Soviet Armenia" of January 7, 1922, the circular of the government strictly forbade illegal destruction of archive materials.
Step by step means were being taken to organize the state central archive of the republic. The denouement of the arrangements was the resolution of 26 September, 1923 of the Armenian executive committee government of founding a state central archive attached to the central committee. In 1924, the legislation of the state central archive of the ASSR was certified, which was the first legal act concerning archive keeping. According to the legislation of 1924, based on archive department of the Yerevan State Museum and several other funds, the state central archive was organized.
After the collapse of the USSR, the CIS member countries developed new relationship which was positive for the development of international cooperation in archive keeping. The proofs of it are numerous discussions, scientific meetings and other such events organized in 1990s.
Since 30 May, 1994 the RA archive board is a member of ICA (International Council of Archives).
In 1996 principal changes of departmental separations took place in our country: 37 regions of the republic were abolished and 10 new departmental units were created (but for Yerevan, which was also given the status of region). Taking into account the present RA departmental separations, as well as the necessity of resolving the status of archive service in governmental system, the new legislation of archive keeping and the system of archives which implement the maintenance of ANAF documents, were certified with resolution N536 of 26 September 1996, by the RA Prime Minister. According to that legislation, 6 central and state archives of 10 regions and of Yerevan started to function with their 41 branches.
In 2004 The National Assembly adopted the RA new law on Archive keeping. During the recent years a lot of reforms were carried out inside the system by the RA government. With the consequent resolutions of executive power of the republic archive keeping board attached to the RA government on March 6, 2002 was reorganized into archive agency of the RA Ministry of Culture, Youth Issues and Sports, with a status of a separate subdivision of the institutions and later its legislation was certified according to which the agency was a republic body of the RA executive power.
With the resolution of 8 August, 2003 the agency was reorganized into structural subdivision of the Ministry. In the next phase of reforms with the RA government resolution of 22 August, 2002, state archives in subordination of archive keeping agency were reorganized into state non-profit organizations and with another resolution of 20 March, 2002 they were reorganized into National archive of Armenia state non-profit organization. With the present decision state archives of regions (Yerevan) in subordination of the agency were reorganized into regional branches of national archive and former branches of regional archives became their area representations.
The result of the above mentioned reforms is: National archive of Armenia state non-profit organization and 11 regional (including Yerevan) branches functioning in its subordination and 29 area representations where by January 1, 2006 there are 5.759 funds with 3.419.353 maintenance units.
The Matenadaran - officially the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, is a museum, repository of manuscripts, and a research institute in Yerevan, Armenia. It is the world's largest repository of Armenian manuscripts. It was established in 1959 on the basis of the nationalized collection of the Armenian Church.