What is the clarification of rights?

It is important to clarify the rights on documents and objects in your archive and/or collection when you want to make them accessible to the public or re-use them.

Clarifying rights means that you have the permission of the right-holder or his representative to re-use your archive and/or collection in the correct legal manner. By re-use we mean digitising for publication on the web, for instance.


When you want to reproduce, (re)use or show (parts of) your archive and/or collection, it is best to find out beforehand which rights are associated with the documents and objects in your archive and/or collection.

Avoid showing or re-using material that has rights attached to it.


Prior knowledge: Know what rights are associated with documents and objects in your archive and/or collection

Clarify rights before you make material openly accessible. Clarify the rights before any possible re-use as well. Do this, where possible, when creating the material. That way you avoid difficult searches for possible right-holders at a later date.


This checklist helps you step by step to clarify rights on (parts of) your archive: Checklist voor het klaren van rechten (only in Dutch).


  • The rights on your own work are best noted down when it is created. They are also made known when made public.
  • Before documents and objects can be digitised, (digitally) displayed and (re)used, all rights must be clarified.