Last week I discussed the future of landscape architecture archives in the Netherlands with a group of researchers and archive users. The meeting was part of the Memory of the Designed Landscape programme of the Nieuwe Instituut.

As there is no central organisation that can accommodate all of these special archives, it is necessary to set up a network structure (possibly with a control centre in the background) that connects them in terms of content. We discussed what such a network could look like in practice and what the first steps would involve.

Personally, I think it is important to open up access to archives for non-professional or semi-professional users as well. Provide possibilities through which users can also offer and upload their own material, content and knowledge.

The largest and best updated archive in the world is still Wikipedia/Wikimedia, a user-based platform from which one can learn so much, without doing exactly the same.

The prerequisite for this, however, is that institutional archive organisations would have to give up some of their power and influence.

Sketch by garden architect Mien Ruys (1904-1999).
Source: Wageningen University & Research – Special Collections
Mien Ruys (left) guides, together with her brother, Queen Juliana through the Moerheim Dedemsvaart Nursery (NL), 2 August 1950. Source: Historische Vereniging Hardenberg
Garden design for the Neurosis Sanatorium ‘De Viersprong’ Halsteren (NL) by Garden Architecture Office Mien Ruys, 8 May 1970. Source: Nieuwe Instituut

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