Radio Netherlands Worldwide archives in danger

RNW(Source: NRC Handelsblad, with translation by Andy Sennitt.)

Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the Broadcasting Music Centre must find a new home for their archives by 1 July. RNW is still looking for a home for its extensive music collection, paper archives and recordings of many broadcasts in languages such as Indonesian, Arabic and Sranan Tongo since 1947. The Broadcasting Music Centre has from 1 August no place for five kilometres of sheet music, sometimes handwritten.

Media Historian Huub Wijfjes finds it astonishing. “We have institutions like Sound and Vision and the Eye Film Institute that were established to ensure that we don’t make the mistakes of the sixties and seventies when everything was discarded. Now the same thing is likely to happen again. For me, my sources will be lost. ”

Sound and Vision seems a logical place, but there is a problem. Collection Curator Hans van der Windt explains: “Access to large archives costs money that we don’t have. For example, we need to have the copyright to the material in order to make it available for research, but most organizations don’t want to give up the copyright.”

Many thanks to Andy Sennit for apprising us of this and for translating the original item from the NRC Handelsblad. I do sincerely hope that an educational institution or benefactor steps up to the plate to help RNW find a proper home for these significant and invaluable archives.

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