The idea of creating Central Archive of Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) originated in 1961 in the Institute of History of SAS. Its director proposed this new institution, moved by a large amount of documentation that was insufficiently stored, that has already been collected after establishing the Academy in 1953. He thought this documentation to be of tremendous importance for increasing the knowledge of cultural history of Slovakia, history of science and historical figures of Slovak science and he wanted, together with agenda of the predecessors of the Academy, to preserve it. The original plan was to hire one professional archivist and one administrative assistant to work in the office, with a larger room to be used as a storage and a prospect of more storage in the future.
The Central Archive was finally established at the meeting of the SAS Presidium on 24th September 1962 with effect from 1st January 1963 as a separate unit and should be organised as a part of Historical College of SAS. The Institute of History was to provide professional supervision to the Archive. In legal terms according to decree-law No 29/1954 of Journal of Laws, it was classified as an archive of particular importance and in dealing with professional issues worked together with Slovak archive administration.
At first archive was only supposed to look after the records from the Presidium of SAS and higher organisation units called scientific colleges, not from all professional research units. The beginnings were awkward and slow, mainly due to the lack of working/storage space. Although the archive got to use premises in the basement and ground floor of central building of Academy situated at Patrónka, these premises were temporarily loaned to the chemical science´s department by the end of 1964.
For the Archive to successfully fulfil its mission, it was important to lay down statutes of the organisation. This happened in 1965 on the basis of a proposition of historical science’s section. The statutes described the position of the Central Archive together with organisational aspects in regards to other sections of the Academy and described the mission and the main purpose of the institution, which were appraise, accession and arrange the archival records and provide access to the researchers. The Archive was also supposed to do historical research on the organisational changes of SAS and its predecessors and historical defunct organisation units, so it could ensure the completeness of the important documentation. In 1965 the proposal of the Establishment plan was drawn up, however because of consultation of parties concerned, it was not agreed upon and signed until 1967. Also in 1967 a plan of establishment for Archival Committee as a part the Presidium was proposed, which was to be composed of 7 representatives of concerned authorities, both from SAS and the national archive authorities. The Committee’s purpose was to direct and supervise the work of the Archive. This proposal was subject to an approval process several years long, although the Committee’s existence was envisioned already in years 1963-1964.
Although the Archive was established six years before, its activity was almost non-existent. Five out of six posts for professionals and service workers were vacant, the accessioning was not carried out and the storage was empty. A change in direction was needed, which came after the dismissal of previous head in 1968. In the following years, when the Archive was finally fulfilling the tasks entrusted to it and was accepting acquisitions, it was dealing with a problem of finding additional storage room. These problems were more or less resolved in 1975, what led to higher quality of accessioning, arrangement and description of archival material, attraction of professional workers, establishing a collection of photographs and making progress on historical research of SAS. The Archive participated in cooperation with other archives of academies of sciences abroad (USSR, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Poland). The result of this was a six-language dictionary of archival terminology and two volumes of bibliography of archivists working in these academies. Soon a collection of medals and a collection of audio and video documents were established.
After dealing with some organisational changes and insufficient storage and in the eighties, nineties brought new, dire challenges. New organisational changes, new responsibilities concerning acquisition and saving archival records from SAS as a result of mentioned organisational changes and neglect, together with significantly reduced budget led to neglecting historical research of SAS and restricting activities mainly to making extracts from documents and verifying information about former SAS employees. Slowly but steadily, these problems were fiercely fought by the employees of the archive, like e.g. when they had to dry approximately 1400 boxes of archival records, which were affected by moisture due to moving part of the material to new storage. Nevertheless, archive tried to fulfil its given tasks as best as it could, even setting a fruitful cooperation with Archive of Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic after 1993 and organising a lot of exhibitions and participating in various projects organised by SAS.