Dresden Files

The Archive is a magical construct and the repository of all knowledge and wisdom.[1] 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.[1]

The Archive has enormous power, Anastasia Luccio stating that the White Council regards her a significant power in her own right, on par with the youngest Queens 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.[2] She is a Freeholding Lord of the Unseelie Accords in her own right.[3]

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,[1] its actual purpose is to provide leadership for the Oblivion War.[4]

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.[1]

In the times of classical Antiquity, past Archives acted as the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, using their knowledge of the past to deduce the most probable future.[5]

In the series[]

Death Masks[]

In Death Masks, The Archives come to Chicago as the neutral emissary for the Duel between Harry Dresden and Paolo Ortega under the Code Duello outlined in the Unseelie Accords. During this visit, Dresden gives The Archive her name: "Ivy", from the "ive" part of Archive,[6] giving the current holder her own identity separate from the role.

White Night[]

In White Night, as Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy discuss John Marcone and his new status as a Freeholding Lord of the Unseelie Accords, it is stated that The Archive is one of about twenty other individuals on the planet with this title.[3]

Small Favor[]

In Small Favor, it is explained to Dresden that the power and knowledge of the Archive is passed from mother to daughter, and ideally 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. The burden of these memories mean they frequently became madwomen, or soothsayers and oracles, such as the Pythia.[5]

In Ivy's case, her grandmother died unexpectedly in a car accident when she was middle-aged. Her teenage mother was young and in love, and when she became the Archive 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.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Small Favor, ch. 35
  2. Small Favor, ch. 36
  3. 3.0 3.1 White Night, ch. 43
  4. Word of Jim
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Small Favor, ch. 46
  6. Death Masks, ch. 10

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