This chapter examines access to text from the point of view of archives, encompassing both archives as institutions with a dedicated building and archives as document collections. Starting from a historical approach to archiving techniques (preservation conditions, record-keeping, appraisal), it then moves to the specificities of digital archiving and explores similarities and divergences between analog and digital archives. It also proposes a more theoretical approach to archival material as a fleeting trace of things past, based among others on Derrida’s analysis. This chapter demonstrates how past texts are embedded in our present lives, both materially and symbolically. It ascertains the key role of archives as documents, as collections, as institutions in constructing discursivities throughout our history.