On June 11th-12th the Royal Society of Archivists in the Netherlands (KVAN) organized it’s yearly ‘Archives days’ in Venlo. The motto was ‘Grenzeloos’ (without borders). The congress was opened by an interview with the minister of Culture, drs. A. Slob, who told the audience that he had just send a letter to Parliament in which he announced that a new Archives Law is prepared. The new Law has two aims; first to shorten the transfer period of archives from 20 years to 10 years and second to modernize Law to the modern times of the digital world. For instance are we talking about archives management or information management. In the Netherlands it is common that organizations like the KVAN are asked to be involved in the legislation process, so the KVAN will be an important advisor for the Government.
The next keynote presentation was held by the National Archivist, Marens Engelhard. He talked about ‘archiving by design’. The archivist should be present at the beginning of the design of new information management systems, so that archiving is built in in the systems with consent of the archivist. Of course we, as archivist, have to be ready and need to have the right competencies to fulfill such a role.
After the key note there were a lot more interesting workshops and lectures during the two days conference. Together with Fred van Kan I did an presentation on ICA en SPA for about 30 attendees. Of course after hard work there was an excellent diner and a lot of archivists were dancing on the dancing floor.
On the second day of the congress the KVAN also held it’s meeting of the general assembly. In that meeting a new board was elected. Bert de Vries (author of this article), director of the City Archives of Amsterdam and already member of the steering committee of SPA), was elected as the new president.
Last but not least there was a presentation of a new website; www.kvanbrain.nl/
Bert de Vries