Human resource development

The transfer of knowledge is an essential part of the TANAP programme. The participants of the university research programme return to their country after receiving their degree and contribute to the further distribution and development of knowledge and skills that they have learnt during the TANAP programme.

An excellent example of knowledge transfer is training in the skills required to read early Dutch. It is important not only to researchers but also to archivists that they have a knowledge of early Dutch writing, so that they can classify and describe the archives and assist researchers. In Jakarta about a dozen staff members attend a course in Dutch in conjunction with the Erasmus Language Centre. But none of the staff at the Tamil Nadu Archives in Chennai speaks Dutch. And in Colombo only the current director can read the Dutch documents. In Cape Town reading Dutch is no problem.

To ensure the availability of the voc archives in the future, it is necessary that the participating archival institutions develop sufficient expertise in managing the material and making it accessible. This knowledge development can consist of training conservators and archivists and of exchanging information during workshops. This will result in an enduring knowledge infrastructure that is also useful for the management of other (non-voc ) archive material.

Human resource development is an essential element of almost every project. The transfer of knowledge and skills is synchronous to the implementation of the component projects. The activities aimed at knowledge transfer are harmonized with the activities of the other clusters. An example of building up knowledge with regard to archives is the application of ISAD(G), the General International Standard for Archival Description developed by the International Council on Archives (ICA) under the auspices of UNESCO. Experience in ISAD(G) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD) will be gained by compiling digital inventories of all voc archives.

Another example of new knowledge that will be transferred and internationally tested is provided by the system for making an inventory of damage. The Dutch State Archives Service (Rijksarchiefdienst, RAD) designed a digital atlas of damage (which will soon be introduced to UNESCO) and - in cooperation with TNO - a sample survey analysis (UPAA, Universal Procedure for Archive Assessment) and a business economic model (BEM).

Besides techniques for active restoration, it is also important that knowledge be transferred regarding passive preservation. Passive preservation, ensuring optimum storage conditions, is the only affordable solution to save large quantities of archives over the longer term. Climate control in stackrooms is expensive, however, and usually unaffordable in non-Western countries. It is a challenge to develop techniques that are feasible for partner countries.


Archives keeping VOC documents

Conservation Methods

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