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

National Archivist

The National Archivist of the Netherlands is the head of the State Archive Service (Rijksarchiefdienst) and the Dutch national archives (Nationaal Archief). He is the advisor to the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science on all aspects of archival policy. He also guards the unity in the policy towards appraisal of government archives within the Netherlands. In that role he is involved in the process of divising retention schedules.

International Council on Archives

On the 16th of April 2010 the National Archivist, Mr. Martin Berendse, was elected president of the International Council on Archives (ICA), the most important organisation for the archival community worldwide. More than 2000 private and public archival institutions from 165 countries are member of the ICA. The ICA is an independent organisation working closely with UNESCO and Blue Shield, and affiliated organisations like ICCROM and IFLA.

Berendse was bestowed with the chairmanship of ICA on the 17th of September 2010. In his inauguration speech as president of the ICA, Berendse sketched his ideas on the role of the ICA in the near future.


The ICA was founded in 1948 under the auspices of UNESCO (United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation). Over the past 52 years the ICA has developed into a professional organisation safeguarding the interests of national archives, private archival organisations, local archives and individual archivists. The ICA aims to advance the sustainability, development and use of the world’s archive collection. At the same time it is committed to safeguarding global memory in all its diversity.

Speech National Archivist on conference 'Archives without Borders'

Before the transfer of the chairmanship of the ICA, both the former president, Mr. Ian Wilson (Librarian and Archivist of Canada) and the new president, Mr. Martin Berendse, gave a speech at the international conference 'Archives without Borders', held in The Hague on the 30th and 31st of August 2010.

In his adress Mr. Berendse payed attention to the need for international cooperation in the archival world of the future and the important agenda for the ICA in this "information century".

Read Martin Berendse's speech.