What is a determination of value?

In order to determine which documents and objects are eligible for temporary or permanent preservation, you need to determine their value within your archive and/or collection and within your activities.

Documents and objects may have:

  • practical use/service value
  • administrative importance/legal value
  • cultural-historical value/symbolic value
  • value as a promotion tool
  • emotional value
  • aesthetic value
  • economic value
  • artistic value


As an artist or employee of an arts organisation you yourself possess the most knowledge about your archive and/or collection. It is therefore important that, in addition to a heritage expert, you also have a say in any further selection process. In this way you can help determine which documents and objects it is important to keep and in so doing capture the essence of your work.

It is also useful to carry out a valuation when you want to digitise and make (parts of) your archive and/or collection accessible.


Prior knowledge: Survey your archive and/or collection and Remove duplicates and versions with no added value

In an ideal world you should integrate this determination of value into your daily work, but the selection usually takes place after an initial clean-up of the archives. Moving premises, major adjustments to activities or the discontinuation of artistic activities are the obvious times at which to think about the value of your archive and/or collection. 


You will find information on what questions to ask to make a valuation of your archive and/or collection in the tool Waardebepaling (only in Dutch).


  • The valuation shows which documents and objects it is best to preserve either temporarily or permanently.
  • On the basis of the valuation you can also draw up a destruction list: this is a list of all the documents and objects that have been removed and destroyed.