Postmodernism formulated a number of new fundamental problems in the theory of historical knowledge, which mainly concerned the principles of obtaining information about historical reality and the possibility of an adequate reflection of the past. The third problem, the problem of the interpretation of historical reality by archives, is attracting increasing attention of experts from various fields of knowledge (philosophers, historians, archivists).Reconsidering the essence of the archives is connected with the works of the French philosophers J. Derrida and M. Foucault. The latter defines the archive as the law governing the system of utterances, their production, allows not to “preserveˮ or “reviveˮ the tradition, but to reveal the limitations of our own thinking: “this is the edge of time surrounding our present, overhanging it and pointing to it in its Variability, this is something that, while outside of us, limits usˮ. In his turn, the German Egyptologist, researcher of cultural memory Jan Assmann, considers the archive simply as a repository of non-canonical texts, and the canon is a set of canonical texts that set the norms for the production of new utterances.Reflections of the philosophers led to the posing of new problems in archival science. One of them is connected with the study of the power nature of the archives, which both preserve and confiscate the historical memory of the society (Joan M. Schwartz, Terry Cook, Randall S. Jimerson). At the same time, some researchers (Mark A. Matienzo) call for an interdisciplinary approach to archival analysis and introduce a number of problems in the archival science from literary discussions on canons (“canonical warsˮ).