The term, and hence the identity of ‘architectural archives’ is not well understood, as a simple Google search highlights. This can be seen as a failure to promote the ‘brand’ of architectural archives. However, the last two decades have witnessed the gradual consolidation of a model for an institution which benefits from the synergy between the collections of architectural archives which it holds, while organising exhibitions, dissemination and educational programmes. This article discusses the main synergy models by examining the most important institutions for architectural archives, and in particular their dissemination programmes. The problems of preserving their identity are addressed, as is the need, unavoidable in the contemporary connected world, for an international network of architectural archives.