Archive auditing for arts organisations

Together with CEMPER, we organise archive audits for the arts sector – processes that are part of TRACKS and have been organised since 2015. Organisations in the performing arts and musical sectors can rely on us for support with their archive and collection management.

Challenge

Music and performing arts organisations with long-term funding from the Arts Act must take the basic preservation guidelines for archive management into account. But many organisations encounter certain issues here, which is why we’ve developed an archive auditing process together with CEMPER as an extension to the work carried out by TRACKS.

TRACKS is comprised of a set of tools that help artists and arts organisations with their archive and collection management. It’s a collaboration between meemoo, Letterenhuis, CEMPER, CKV (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp), Kunstenpunt (Flanders Arts Institute), VAi (Flanders Architecture Institute), Archiefbank Vlaanderen, AMVB (Archive and Museum for the Flemish Living in Brussels), FARO (Flemish Institution for Cultural Heritage) and Flanders Department of Culture, Youth and Media.

Rijk Willemse - CC BY-SA-NC

Our role

We provide sound advice to assist digital heritage managers within the arts sector. Our aim is to support them with the necessary knowledge and tools, so they can perform their tasks in the best way possible. We do this both on an ad hoc basis in response to specific requests, as well as via a broader archive auditing process. In the latter case, we examine all the archiving operations together with CEMPER.

We’re providing our digital heritage expertise in this project and supporting organisations primarily with the digital aspects of their archive management. CEMPER is focusing more on the general and analogue aspects.

Approach

We started these auditing processes in 2015, and since 2021 are running two new audits every year. Which performing arts and music organisations have followed this auditing process in the past? Below you can find a handy overview.

2015-2016

CAMPO

Needcompany

deSingel

Toneelhuis

ARSENAAL/LAZARUS

2016-2017

Compagnie Cecilia

Theater Antigone

Walpurgis

Theater Zuidpool

wpZimmer

2017-2018

het nieuwstedelijk

KVS

Voetvolk

Theater Utrecht

Digitaal Erfgoed Nederland (DEN)

2019-2020

Alamire Foundation

De Centrale

Cohort

Festival van Vlaanderen Mechelen/Kempen

Oxalys

Sfinx Festival

2021 (voorjaar)

AMUZ

B‑Classic

De Studio Villanella

Democrazy

fABULEUS

Het Depot

Irene Wool

Zefiro Torna

2021 (najaar)

Antwerp Symphony Orchestra

A Two Dogs Company

Brussels Jazz Orchestra

Damaged Goods

HERMESensemble

KRAAK

Workspace Brussels

tg STAN

2022 (voorjaar)

Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen

Dranouter muziekcentrum

Festival van Vlaanderen 2021

Het Gevolg

LOD muziektheater

MA Festival

Martha!tentatief

MT De Kolonie

Type of audit and timing

The basic archive management guidelines form the starting point for the auditing processes. We always set up a group process that runs for several months, which allows artists and arts organisations to share their archive management experiences and challenges. Spreading the process over several months means we can work in greater depth and achieve better results. Participants also become more aware of the importance of archive management across the whole sector.

Setting up the process

We start by conducting a survey to assess the current state of affairs. How are participating organisations dealing with the various aspects of their archive management? We start by looking at the practice and then apply the theory, setting four deadlines with the organisations to give interim feedback. During and after the process, we determine what actions the organisations can take which they should prioritise.

The archive auditing process consists of the following stages:

  • a preparatory assignment for the organisations;

  • a launch meeting;

  • a four-part survey with interim question-and-answer sessions to serve as a basis for determining the archive operations currently in place;

  • meemoo and CEMPER site visits to the organisations;

  • a final meeting;

  • further following up.

Want to see how it works? Eight music and performing arts organisations completed their archive auditing process on 27 April 2021.

>> Read the report (in Dutch)

Partners

We organise these processes in collaboration with CEMPER.

Do you have a question?
Contact Bart Magnus
Expertise Officer
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