Quick Tip – Archives Damage Atlas

The Metamorfoze program, a Dutch program to preserve and digitize archives and publications, published a damage atlas of archives (PDF). The atlas was published ten years ago but the contents are still relevant today.

Archives Damage Atlas - Cover

The atlas gives an overview of the type of damage archival records can sustain:

  • binding and block damage, such as warping or spine damage
  • chemical damage, such as fire damage, ink corrosion, and acidification
  • mechanical damage, through use or violence
  • pest infection by insects or rodents.

The atlas is illustrated with photos of examples of each type of damage, using Dutch archival records.

I have encountered most of these situations in my research, especially when doing on-site research. Most digitization projects start with a conservation project to stop and repair the damage, so digitization can capture as much as possible of the surviving information.

Fragment of Dinxperlo church council minutes with granade damage (photo by author)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer in the Netherlands. She has a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee, and holds the Certification of Genealogist and Qualified Genealogist credentials. Yvette served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and won excellence awards for her articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Yvette has been doing genealogy for over 30 years. She helps people from across the world find their ancestors from the Netherlands and its former colonies, including New Netherland. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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