National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Development of the Digital Depot

The State Archives Service is making the transition from a passive, responsive management organisation to a pro-active, information-providing institution that actively promotes its (digital) collection. The condition and state of (digital) archival records cannot be an obstacle to public consultation. The dynamic pace of digital developments demands a forwards-facing approach to the management and use of digital collections. In anticipation of this, the State Archives Service has been collaborating with the Municipal Archives of Rotterdam on the Digital Depot project.

The goal of the Digital Depot project is the realisation of a fully-fledged digital depot, whereby the ongoing accessibility of digital archives can be ensured, whereby digital archival records can be more effectively delivered to a wide audience, and whereby the transfer of digital archives from government departments to the State Archives Service can be made more efficient. The digital depot will enable the State Archives Service to accept and manage digital archival material. One of the most important elements of the project will be embedding the depot within the existing organisation. To help consolidate and perfect the transfer process within the overall project, a pilot phase is being established with the close cooperation of one or more government departments.

Development of the digital depot started in January 2007. The first version of the digital depot application was released in the summer of 2009. 2009 also saw the implementation of two pilots: a pilot with the Ministry of the Interior (MinBZK) that focused on the transfer of digital material (for destruction as well as preservation); and a pilot with the Regional History Centres (RHCs) that explored the form of services supplied by the State Archives Service to the RHCs. The digital depot will become operational within the State Archives Service in 2010.