Forty years ago very few people knew what archives were, now everyone has some idea. This chapter sets the concept of the archive in a wider context of its origins and traditions. It explores the advent of new media, especially the big data phenomena, and the challenges that the digital paradigm presents to creators, curators and users. Given that practice in the paper world will not translate, new ways of doing old things are discussed. Crucially it touches on the question of who is to pay. The chapter concludes with a call for closer co-operation between curators and stakeholders.