If you want to preserve an archive or collection so that the details and information are not lost, it is important to find a sustainable way of doing so. You should therefore first be aware of what might damage your archive and/or collection.

Different documents and objects also have to be preserved in different ways. Archives and collections of artists and arts organisations consist of various types of material, such as paper, textiles, wood, metal and plastic. These materials require specific attention.


Prevention is better than cure, and this goes for your archive and/or collection too. They are usually kept where there is enough space and where they can be easily accessed by all staff. Yet it is important to know the risks inherent to the storage space. By excluding as many risks as possible, you will limit the damage.

How to store an archive and/or collection?

You can find information on how to arrange the storage space and how to deal with harmful conditions in Tips voor een goede inrichting van je bewaarruimte (only in Dutch).

Specialised organisations have already published plenty of information on the material care of specific types of documents and objects. You will find a series of links and publications with advice on material care in the following tool Materiële bewaring van je fysiek archief (most of the links are in Dutch or English).


  • Your archive and your collection will remain in good condition. This means that your archives and collections can be consulted in the short and long term, their integrity will be preserved and they will continue to be legible and usable.
  • Wherever possible, efforts are made to minimise damage by taking account of the following factors:
    • Avoid physical damage through handling and storage
    • Fire safety
    • Avoid water damage
    • Theft and vandalism prevention
    • Protect from pests and mould
    • Minimise exposure to light
    • Protect from pollution
    • Control temperature and temperature fluctuations
    • Control humidity and humidity fluctuations