In the arts sector, archives and collections are not always kept in one place. Sometimes they are spread over different locations: documents and objects that belong to the archive and/or collection can be found at home, in the possession of volunteers or elsewhere. A basic task when preserving your own archive and/or collection is to gather together all information about documents and objects so as to obtain a good overview.


When everything is spread about, it is not always clear how big or how complete an archive and/or collection is. This means that there is often a lack of clarity about the state of documents and objects.

An overview of the scope, dissemination and state of your archive and/or collection is usually required in order to detect possible problems. On this basis you can decide what the next steps should be in the preservation of your archive and/or collection. This first overview will also form the basis of further descriptions of the archive and/or collection.


It is best to chart the archive and/or collection before you start on preservation.

Prior knowledge: Create a vision around the archive and/or collection(s)Establish written objectives and actions for archive and/or collection preservationMake agreements and determine who is responsible for what in archive and/or collection preservation


You can read about how to map out your archives and collections in Breng je archief en collectie(s) in kaart (only in Dutch).


  • You have an overview of the various parts of the archive and/or collection, their location and their scope. Information about their condition and how they are arranged can also be included in the overview.