Volunteer At The Expatriate Archive Centre

January 21st 2013

Volunteering for the Expatriate Archive Centre is a great way to help us preserve expat history while gaining new skills and meeting interesting people.

The Expatriate Archive Centre preserves the life stories of expats and repats worldwide. Based in The Hague, it is run by a small, dedicated team who are supported by enthusiastic volunteers.

We are looking for assistant archivists, PR and marketing people, web researchers, translators, and book reviewers. If you have an inquisitive mind, are interested in history, and are willing to commit at least 3 hours a week then please get in touch.


Here are some quotes from past volunteers: “As a volunteer, I have been able to have autonomy in selecting tasks I would like to be involved in“, “Another advantage was that the EAC is an English speaking environment“, “I am building up networks and connections which are of a great importance nowadays“, “[The staff] have a knack for making volunteers feel welcome and at home, are genuinely caring people and are thankful for the work that we do“.

If you would like to volunteer for the Expatriate Archive Centre or if you want to know more, please send us an email on welcome@xpatarchive.com or phone070 427 2014 (during office hours, Mon-Thu 10:30am – 3pm). Let us know a little bit about your background, and we can arrange for you to come in for an informal chat.

Categories: Volunteering

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Book Reviewers Needed

January 15th 2013

Alongside our unique archive of expat life stories, photographs, and documents, we also hold a supplementary library of expat-related books and DVDs. These include memoirs, expat guides, poetry, children’s books and more. We are looking for people to assist the Expatriate Archive Centre by writing a short review of a book from the library.

You would be helping the archive in two ways. Firstly, it encourages authors to donate their books if they know that there will be a review published on our website – so you are helping us to grow our collection. Secondly, it is a great way for us to show the range of books in our library to researchers.

The review process is simple. We will post a book to you, you read it and write a short (400-500 word) review which we then place on our website. You can send the book back to us so that we can put it back on the shelves, and we will reimburse you for the postage costs.

Book reviewing is currently the only way that you can volunteer for the Expatriate Archive Centre from your own home, so if you have ever thought about volunteering but were unable to travel or make the time commitment then perhaps this is the perfect way for you to help us.

Reviewers are always credited for their work, and we can also include a short 2/3 line biography if you wish.

Are you interested in reviewing an expat book from our library? Please get in touch by emailing welcome@xpatarchive.com and include some information about yourself – where you are from, where you live, and what kind of books you might prefer to review. If you would like to see reviews that we have previously published, check out our Library News page.

Categories: Library

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Make a Resolution to Preserve Your Expat Paper Trail

January 7th 2013

At expat fairs we often hear from people with very different approaches to managing all that paperwork and assorted ephemera that accumulates while living abroad. There are those who say, “I’ve thrown everything away. I can’t hang on to it when I move” and then there are others who tell us, “I haven’t got time to sort through it all – there’s boxes and boxes!”.

Whether you’re a thrower or a hoarder, perhaps we can help. At the Expatriate Archive Centre, we collect life stories of expatriates, their families, accompanying partners, and repatriates. This includes life writings and diaries, photographs and scrapbooks, letters and emails, and supporting documentation – packing lists, rental contracts, school reports, tickets, invitations etc. We preserve them, in the language they are written in, for research and for the future.

So why should you donate your expat story to us? Here are a few good reasons:

  • You’ll be supporting academic research into expatriation – researchers need original source material
  • Your collection will be kept together, in proper archival conditions – better than a shoe box or an attic, and it won’t be split up or lost
  • It won’t cost you anything, wherever you are in the world – we can refund postage, and for larger collections we have an arrangement with Voerman International Movers
  • You can donate as you move around – a collection can be added to at a later date, so you can send your paper to us instead of throwing it away
  • You can request a free digital copy – once we’ve scanned your whole collection we can put it on a CD for you, much easier to transport and you can make copies for your family
  • Your story is important – no matter how many places you’ve been to, or how far you have travelled, you are part of the large and varied tapestry of expat life

And if you think your collection is far too big to sort through – we can do it for you! In an ideal world, every photo would be labeled and every document annotated before it came to us, but we know how busy the expat life can be. The most important thing is to get your material to us and let us sort, catalogue and scan it.

Privacy is important to us, and we will obtain your written consent before the collection can be used for research. All our staff and volunteers sign confidentiality agreements, and researchers are required to sign a research declaration.

Let 2013 be the year you help us to make expat history! Find out more about donating your story, or contact us for more information.

Categories: Articles, Donations

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