公共檔案館與公共圖書館相同，同屬於為民眾提供資訊服務的機構。公共圖書館在世界各國都已有發展完善的公共圖書館體系，而公共檔案館卻是發展較遲。自二次世界大戰後，各國才紛紛設置國家檔案館，逐漸予以重視。我國的情況更是瞠乎其後，目前尚未有任何一所公共檔案館，引起筆者的重視，探討公共檔案館的源起，並進而對檔案館的分類一併討論。最後提出對我國設置公共檔案館的建議。 The functions of the public archives are similar to the public libraries, both of them provide services to the public. The system of the public libraries are already well-developed around the world, but the public archives are developed later than the public libraries. After the World War II, the national archives were set up in most of the countries. There are still lack of any public archives in Taiwan. This article mainly describes the evolution of the public archives and the classification of archives. Finally, the suggestion to set up public archives in this country is given.