How to Donate Your Story

Every expat life story is unique. Your diaries, letters, photos and documents are an important part of the bigger picture of global living. Donating your collection to our archive will ensure that it is safely stored for the future, and can make your story a part of expat social history.

What We Collect

We collect the life stories of expatriates, with an emphasis on unique and unpublished material such as diaries, letters, emails, photos, and documents. Find out more about what we collect.

Why Donate Your Story?

  • You will be supporting research of expatriate affairs. Academic researchers want to see original source material.
  • Your story will be preserved properly. We have the facility to store everything in acid-free folders and humidity-controlled conditions — much better than sitting in an attic or garage.
  • Your collection won’t get split or lost. Many people, understandably, want to keep their memories for their children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, this often leads to the collection being broken up and parts being lost or discarded. We can keep your collection together, and it will always be safe.
  • You can request a free digital copy. Once we scan all your documents, you can ask for a digital copy of your collection. It’s much easier to transport and store, and you can give copies to family members.
  • It won’t cost you anything to send. We refund postage for small items and arrange pickup for larger collections.
  • You can send things in instalments. We understand how time consuming it can be to gather materials. You can always add things to your collection at a later date.
  • Your story will become part of expat history. Our archive represents the rich tapestry of expat life across the world and how it has changed over time. Adding your story will ensure that you are part of it.
  • Above all, we treasure your memories. We know the true sentimental, historical, and academic value of your memories and experiences. We respect your privacy.
We do not exploit your story for our gain, but acknowledge the educational and social value your contribution adds to the greater picture of expatriate social history. Researchers’ topics and conclusions are not the opinion of the EAC but of the researcher alone. Our aim is only to facilitate quality research that explores all parts of expatriate life.


Your privacy is important to us. The Expatriate Archive Centre, established under Dutch law, works within the legal boundaries set by privacy laws and adheres to regulations concerning copyright. We only process personal data in line with the purpose for which they were provided to us and in conformity with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Find out more about our privacy and confidentiality promises.

Sending Your Contribution

Smaller contributions can be sent through regular postal services; your postage costs can be reimbursed. For larger collections, we have an arrangement with ULSI Logistic Services, who can pick up and transport your material at no cost to you. We will make arrangements with ULSI on your behalf. If your collection includes digital files, contact us to discuss the best method of transferring them.
Please contact us if you need additional information about donations.