This first introduction, written for educational purposes, is meant to be a concise basic text in which the core concepts of archival science are coherently defined and explained, in a non-polemical way and departing from a de-institutionalised point of view. It is not intended to support or reject any single theory, but to provide an overview. It should be read as a synthesis of a variety of shared ideas and views, not as a manifesto of a new approach to archival science. If there is anything new to it, it might be located in the coherent and integrated presentation. In this primer of archival science annotation has been avoided.