In recognition of International Archives Day on 9 June 2013, all archivists in the Netherlands are signing the Universal Declaration on Archives, a statement about the relevance and importance of archives to the general public.
Archives record decisions, actions and memories. Archives are a unique and irreplaceable heritage passed from one generation to another. Archives are managed from creation to preserve their value and meaning. They are authoritative sources of information underpinning accountable and transparent administrative actions. They play an essential role in the development of societies by safeguarding and contributing to individual and community memory. Open access to archives enriches our knowledge of human society, promotes democracy, protects citizens' rights and enhances the quality of life.
Archives also support the growing interest in personal histories, documenting people's experiences and development in society within and outside the Netherlands. Archivists in the Netherlands are working hard to keep the nation's memory alive.
Archives are not just there to preserve, they are also there to browse, research, dig, learn from and enjoy. They offer something for everyone. More and more information is available online and searching is becoming easier via tools such as the Expatriate Archive Centre's online catalogue. The past is within everyone's reach.
This year there is a particular emphasis on those archives which are in danger, archives that may be affected by climate issues, financial worries, and other influences. Find out more on the #followanarchive website or check the hashtag #savearchives on Twitter.
The Expatriate Archive Centre aims to give a voice to expats and their families worldwide, and preserve the social history of expatriate life. These valuable stories might otherwise be lost, collections broken up or thrown away, or stored improperly in attics and garages. Expat history is growing in popularity as a theme in migration history research, and the EAC is also there to support these researchers. By donating your expat story, your memory will be preserved both for generations to come and for future academic research.
If you would like to learn more about the work of the Expatriate Archive Centre, please contact Peta Chow by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +31 (0)70 427 2014. You can also arrange to visit the archive at Paramaribostraat 20, 2585 GN The Hague.