Donate Your Story
We collect you and your family's stories as expatriates. An expatriate is defined as someone who is temporarily outside the country that he/she considers to be his/her home country.
What We Collect
Our emphasis is on unique personal writing and collections in contrast to printed/published material which is usually available in other libraries and archives. Preferably unedited material written at the time and not rewritten later. We accept material in any language and from expatriates worldwide. Including:
- Diaries of any kind: handwritten or typed, digitally (blog), commercially printed or plain note books. They may be detailed or sparsely recorded, have gaps or be continuous. Many people change the way they keep diaries over the years, so a variety of forms and entries is perfectly acceptable.
- Personal letters or email exchanges. However be aware of copyright issues from the sender.
- Scrap books where there is considerable annotation and input from the person putting the book together.
- Photo albums and films (DVD's) preferably with captions and/or stories attached to it
- Printed material if it forms part of a larger collection of personal material, like passports, certificates, awards, membership cards, programmes, invitation cards, greeting cards, school reports and similar documents.
If you are not sure whether your material will be suitable for the Archive, contact us.
Sending Your Contributions
You can see our contact us page for our postal address in The Netherlands. If you have something small to send, we can refund your postage.
For larger collections, we have an agreement with Voerman - an international moving company - who can transport your material for free. We will make all the arrangements with the company on your behalf.
If you want to visit the archive, please contact us for an appointment so that we can make sure somebody is available to help you.
Why Donate to the Archive?
- You will be supporting expat research - 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 will get a free digital copy - we scan all documents, so you will get a CD with your collection on it. It will give you a fresh look at your life story, it's much easier to transport and store, and you can give copies to family members.
- It won't cost you anything - we will refund postage for small items and arrange pickup for larger collections.
- You can send things in installments - you don't need to collect everything together now. We understand how time-consuming this can be. You can always add things to your collection at a later date.
- Your story will become part of expat history - our Archive represents the 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 do not exploit them for gain, but acknowledge the educational and social value your contribution brings to the greater picture.
Privacy and Disclaimer
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. All staff and volunteers sign a confidentiality agreement before handling any material in the Archive. Only if you have given the Archive Centre permission to use your documents for – academic or genealogical – research, will researchers be granted access to it. Upon your request the material donated can be kept closed for a number of years (max 50) and/or all identifying information can be disguised when the material is used for research purposes.
We will look after your collection as best as we can. We do not accept any liability for publications resulting from the Archive Centre's collection. We do our utmost to protect your privacy and the material donated for loss, decay and other damage but cannot accept any responsibility unless there has been a gross negligence of our duty.