The Archive is a magical construct and the repository of all knowledge and wisdom. The construct resides in a human and is passed down from mother to daughter and the current one is usually known simply as "The Archive". The current one is Ivy. It is first mentioned in Death Masks.
The Archive is deemed neutral as it automatically records all human knowledge, primarily of what has been written down. Harry Dresden has been able to send a message to the Archive simply by writing it on a napkin.
Anastasia Luccio states that the White Council regards her a significant power in her own right, on par with the youngest Queens, the Summer Lady and Winter Lady of the Faerie Courts. According to Dresden, her containment and neutralization would take a great Circle of Power, heavy-duty ritual magic in a prepared location, flawlessly executed, as she could otherwise break it.
Though the Archive is stated to have been created as a repository of learning to safeguard against a collapse of civilization, a loss of knowledge and the destruction of learning, its actual purpose is to provide leadership for the Oblivion War.
Bob the Skull is considered to behave in a similar manner, the main difference being Bob needs to gather the knowledge of his own accord, whereas The Archive skips the learning process directly to the understanding phase.
In the series
In Death Masks, she is the neutral emissary for the Duel between Harry Dresden and Paolo Ortega under the Code Duello outlined in the Unseelie Accords. She pays a visit to Dresden in her role as neutral Duel emissary. The Archive outlines the rules and tells him to get a second by sundown or forfeit and be killed by her. Dresden gives The Archive her name: "Ivy", from the "ive" part of Archive. Ivy is totally captivated by Mister, fondly petting him and the cat likes her back. At the duel, Ivy provides a Mordite sphere for the Duel of Wills.
In White Night, Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy discuss John Marcone and his new status as a Freeholding Lord of the Unseelie Accords. The Archive is one of about twenty other individuals on the planet with this title.
In Small Favor, Harry Dresden asks for The Archive to be the moderator between the Denarians and Dresden on behalf of Marcone's representatives: Ms. Gard and Hendricks. The meeting is set up at the Shedd Aquarium where she is kidnapped by the Denarians. Dresden writes her a note letting her know he's coming to rescue her, to hold on, she's not alone, The Archive should get it.
Dresden frees Ivy from an elaborate greater circle created by Polonius Lartessa of the Denarians on Demonreach. Later, through hugs and tears Ivy tells Dresden that she got his letter, and thanks him.
Anastasia Luccio later explains the nature of the Archive to Dresden, revealing that the power and knowledge of the Archive is passed from mother to daughter, which can drive the bearer insane; she explains that the ancient oracles like the Pythia were always described as madwomen, and though they were insane they were also the Archive, using their knowledge of the past to predict what was likely to happen next. Ideally, in order to avoid this problem the Archive would be passed on only after the new Archive has had a life with a family and children to insulate herself when she gains all the memories of her ancestors. In Ivy's case, however, her grandmother died unexpectedly in a car accident when she was middle-aged. Her teenage mother was young, pregnant and in love, and when she became the Archive she couldn't deal with it. She hated her mother for dying and forcing her to become the new Archive, and she hated her unborn daughter for having a life of freedom ahead of her. She committed suicide, and Ivy became the Archive as an infant, knowing exactly what her mother had done and what she thought of Ivy.
In Changes, Harry Dresden contacts her by writing a note, asking for information on where Maggie was being held. Ivy is unable to help due to the limitations imposed on the Archive, but after Dresden threatens to turn to demonic aid, she helps him by pointing him to Marcone, who has useful information.
In Ghost Story, Ivy would have found out that Harry Dresden died the moment anything was written. It is implied the information would shatter her since Dresden was her only friend. Dresden thinks she's about twelve or thirteen years old now.
In Battle Ground, Ivy takes part in the battle against the Fomor, moving throught the battlefield surrounded by a circling mass of heavy objects. Though she was able to wear down Ethniu with the others, eventually Ethniu threw a decapitated head and hit Ivy in the sternum, knocking her out of the battle. In the aftermath of the battle, she helped coordinate emergency relief with Riley.
- Small Favor, ch. 35
- Death Masks, ch. 10
- White Night, ch. 43
- Small Favor, ch. 36
- Death Masks, ch. 29
- Small Favor, ch. 42-43
- Small Favor, ch. 46
- Changes, ch. 19
- Ghost Story, ch. 19
- Battle Ground, ch. 31
- Battle Ground, ch. 32
- Battle Ground, ch. 35