Archive and collection management objectives

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have a specific goal in mind. Determining objectives for your archive and collection management means you can take more targeted actions.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why is it important to formulate objectives for archive and collection management?
  • What are the reasons for taking good care of your archive or collection?
  • How can you formulate these objectives?

In order to determine objectives and associated actions, it’s first necessary to have a good overview of your archive and/or collections. (You can find more information about this in the Classify your archive and collections section.)

Why do you want to look after your archive and/or collections? What objectives do you want to achieve? You can find several motives and inspiring examples to help you set objectives for your own operations here. These examples come from people or organisations that have taken part in a supervised process. You can find the detailed descriptions of their projects in the

Jose Berengueres, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Work more efficiently

Good archive and collection management ensures that you (and other new employees) can find and share the documents you need faster. It also means you can avoid having any duplicates (identical copies), speeds up communication between colleagues, and ensures your (digital) storage space is used more efficiently, so you can save space and reduce costs for your (physical and digital) storage area.

Making your archive accessible ensures information can be found more easily and reused by yourself, your colleagues and third parties.

Preventing loss of knowledge and information

The long-term storage of archives and/or collections prevents you from losing knowledge and information.

Saving your organisation’s history for the future

Taking care of your archive and/or collections means you're also preserving your history.

On the occasion of an anniversary or other event, you can use a publication, exhibition, website, database, etc. to provide an overview of the evolution and historical highlights of your organisation or career.

Being able to show the path that your organisation or career has taken creates a basis for your future operations.

Let the vision, work and ideas of creators and artists live on

Public activities

Making archive and/or collection items available for re-runs or re-enactments.

  • Drawing up layout plans means the artworks by Bernd Lohaus can be set up without the director needing to be there
  • MATRIX wants to make educational scores available online so the music can be reproduced by other musicians

Using archive and/or collection items for organising workshops, socio-artistic and educational projects.

Opening up archives and/or collections for (cultural history) research.

Using archives and/or collections as a basis for new work

You can find inspiration for new work from items in your archive and/or collections.

  • Circus Ronaldo made an inventory of its historical backdrops and used a number of them for a new show

Your archive and/or collection can also inspire others to create new work.

Satisfying the ‘Caring for your own archive’ grant conditions in the Arts Act

Anyone who is structurally funded by the Arts Act is obliged to look after their archive. You can find a detailed overview of what is meant by ‘basic care’ on this webpage.