At the end of last year the renovation of an empty space at Archive-IT started. The space has been converted into a fully conditioned storage space for archive material, also known as archive space. An archive space may only be called such if it complies with the requirements of the Archives Act. We explain it!

The Archives Act

The Archives Act is the most important law of the Dutch government for the provision of information. The Archives Act of 1995 regulates the management and access of government archives. This Act specifies the period during which government documents must be kept. But also the care and accessibility, rules with regard to lending and transfer of ownership, public accessibility of government information and the transfer of government documents to a repository. Pursuant to the Archives Act, every government must have an archive room and an archive repository at its disposal. This applies not only to analogue information, but also to digital information.

Similarities and differences require archive space and archive repository

You probably wonder what the difference is between an archive space and a repository. In general, there are more similarities than differences. Both are available both analog and digital. For analogue storage, the space has to meet different requirements. The requirements for an archive repository are stricter than those for an archive room. This has to do with the fact that documents that are kept for more than 20 years end up in an archive repository. For this purpose, these documents are stored in an archive room. The building in which the room is located is not located in an environment where there is extreme nuisance from air pollution and a risk of fire or flooding. The rooms must have both fire and water detectors.

An important requirement that both rooms must meet is climate requirements. One of the most important requirements is the temperature. The temperature must be between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius (with a maximum exceedance of 25 degrees Celsius of ten consecutive days per year). Another important climatic requirement is the humidity – varying between 30% and 55%. These climatic conditions must be measured and monitored continuously and this equipment must not be in the room itself.

The rooms have no windows and are made of quality concrete. Both the archive room and the archive repository have the same rules for the floor load, which is calculated at a weight of 10 kN/m2 , for an installation with 7 shelves on top of each other and a distance of 35 cm between them. There are also rules for separation from other rooms. For an archive room, the following applies: stony material with a minimum fire resistance time of 60 minutes in accordance with NEN6096. Both rooms must be equipped with fire dampers certified in accordance with NEN6077 and may not have grilles or other mezzanine floors.

Archive room Archive-IT

The reason for Archive-IT to build this new Archive Space is the increasing demand from municipalities and government agencies for the storage of their archive material. Most of these are archive material that has to be stored for a very long time, if not indefinitely. Municipalities are increasingly faced with a lack of space within their own archives, or their own spaces that do not (or no longer) comply with these strict regulations. By placing the archive at Archive-IT in a fully equipped space that meets all the requirements of the Archives Act, the time period of 20 years can be bridged before the material has to be transferred to a repository. Efficient and accessible!

In addition, there is also an increasing demand from municipalities that are merging. In the ideal situation, the archives of these municipalities are brought together and made available from a single location to all authorised users within the merger. In the current archive spaces of the municipalities themselves, there is often no room for this. Archive-IT offers the solution for this.

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