New director arrives at EU Historical Archives

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The Historical Archives of the European Union, part of the EUI campus, has hired a new director from UNESCO.

Dieter SchlenkerDieter Schlenker began his new role on 7 January, after more than three years as the head of UNESCO’s Information and Knowledge Management Unit in Bangkok. While there Schlenker was involved in running the office’s library, website, media relations and improving UNESCO’s visibility in the region, experiences which he says he hopes to make use of in Florence.

“It was an eye-opener; I know how to be more visible to the public and see that there’s the academic world out there but also a world of over six billion people,” he says. “We’re such a rich archive here; we are the archive on European integration. That is something we have to promote to the public, because it is unique.”

Now that the archives have moved to Villa Salviati, close to the EUI’s main building Badia Fiesolana, Schlenker aims to attract more researchers from the Institute. Additionally, he intends to create partnerships with local schools and European universities.

Schlenker describes himself as “an archivist by profession and heart”, having begun his career in Rome working for Catholic charity Caritas and the Vatican Secret Archives. He went on to join UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, where he worked as a records management specialist for five years and was part of the International Council of Archives.

The former director of the Historical Archives, Jean-Marie Palayret, will remain at the EU archives for two more months as a special advisor.