Dutch term – Openbaarheid

Openbaarheid means the status of a document as a public record. Records can have different statuses:

  • Openbaar [public]: the record is public and can be accessed without restrictions.
  • Beperkt openbaar [limited public]: the record is not public but can be accessed under certain conditions.
  • Niet openbaar [not public]: the record is not public and cannot be accessed.

Common reasons for records to not be public are to protect the privacy of living people or in the case of state secrets. In general, records of people born less than 100 years ago are beperkt openbaar and can only be accessed with their permission or with proof of death. Read about gaining access to these records.

Letters by the Duke of Marlborough, locked in a special case. Credits: Collection Nationaal Archief (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 25 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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