An archives is a space (it can be a building, multiple buildings, or even just a room or part of a building) designed to keep materials such as physical papers, artifacts, movie recordings, sound recordings, and computer files, among other things, safe and accessible to people forever, or at the very least as long as possible. There are several different types of archives, each focusing on specific types of materials to collect. For example, an archive might only collect records for an organization they are a part of (emails, meeting minutes, reports, patents, etc.) or an archive might only collect and preserve video games.
Earlier I mentioned an archives being a space designed for preservation of specific materials, and this means much more than simply being a space dedicated to place the materials. Everything from the temperature and climate, to the types of containers and shelves used to box and hold the materials, and even to the types of plants allowed to grow near the building (certain types of plants can attract insects that feed on paper). Physical materials, such as wood, paper and even human hands have chemicals in them that can lead to the deterioration of materials if not maintained and handled with proper care, such as keeping the temperature and humidity not too high, storing paper in metal cabinets as opposed to wood, and wearing specially-made archival gloves when touching materials.
In addition to physical materials, archives can (and usually are) tasked with preserving access to digital files, and this takes special training More