Dutch term – Selectielijst

A selectielijst literally means a selection list. Archives publish selectielijsten to announce their retention policies for records created by a specific government agency. For each series on the list, it will indicate whether it will be permantly preserved or after how many years it will be destroyed. The selectielijsten are put up for public … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Notulen

Notulen are minutes. They can be found in the records created by many different types of people and organizations, such as church councils or the municipal government. They can contain a variety of information. Archival descriptions in finding aids often don't index the minutes but simply label the boxes as notulen and their period. You will … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Concordans

A concordans is a translation table that gives you a mapping of a former numbering system to a newer numbering system. For example, a concordans may exist to show how old addresses translate to new addresses. I used such a table in my research into my great-grandmother Cornelia Francisca van den Heuvel to show that address C 453 in Breda was the … [Read more...]

Dutch Term – Archief

October is archive month, so this week's Dutch term is archief (archive). The word archief has two meanings: The repository that holds records A group of records created by a person or organization as a result of their activities. For example, the Nationaal Archief holds the archief (records) of the West India Company. … [Read more...]

Organization of Archives in the Netherlands

To find records about your ancestors, it is useful to know how archives are organized; even if you're looking for online records. Government archives The most important sources for genealogical research are kept in government archives. Churches were required to hand over their baptismal, marriage and burial registers when the civil registration … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Archivaris

An archivaris is an archivist. In the Netherlands, archivarissen have a college or university degree in archival science; usually after first completing a related degree in history. Every level of government (municipality, province, nation) is required to transfer their older records to an archive which is headed by an archivist. Smaller … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Archiefstuk

An Archiefstuk is an archival record, a document created or received in the course of a person or organization's activities or tasks. The oldest surviving archiefstuk in the Netherlands is a 950 charter whereby King Otto I granted the right of a market and toll to Cassalum (unidentified location). The charter is kept by the Regionaal Historisch … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Archiefvormer

An Archiefvormer is the creator of an archive. Examples of archiefvormers are municipalities, churches, societies, foundations and private persons. Thinking about which archiefvormers your ancestor may have been in contact with is a great way to discover unknown records. Read the article Find your ancestors by understanding how records are … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Topics in an Archievenoverzicht

An archival catalog (archievenoverzicht) will give an hierarchical overview of the contents of a repository. Common topics include: Bestuur en Politiek  [Government and politics] Bevolking [Population] Justitie en Rechtspraak [Justice and Court] Openbare orde en veiligheid [Public order and safety] Defensie [Defense] Notariaat … [Read more...]

Quick tip – Don’t trust the archivist! (at least: not blindly)

Earlier this year, I emailed an archivist in Germany to ask about the sources that might be available for my 18th century ancestor. The archive is 2.5 hours from where I live, so I didn't want to drive there for nothing. Unfortunately, the archivist informed me that the town hall had been bombed in World War II, destroying all the old records. For … [Read more...]