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Garden and landscape architecture play an important role in the creation of the designed landscape. Until now, there has been no public remit for preserving the archives of garden and landscape architects and there has been no official policy with regards to which institution should house them. As a consequence, many archival materials have been lost, are not accessible or have found their way to archives as scattered fragments that are insufficiently connected. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has asked Het Nieuwe Instituut to conduct a study into how to deal with the archives of garden and landscape architects as a heritage task.

Follow up

Time and structural funding are needed to create a network of Garden and Landscape Architecture Archives. Meanwhile, there is now enthusiasm among the parties in the field and there are urgent issues that require immediate action. Reason enough to initiate a follow-up process as soon as possible as a link between this study and the prospect of a facility that will house the archives. The follow-up process could begin in 2021 as the next phase of imagining what the organisational, substantive and financial framework for Garden and Landscape Architecture Archives could look like.

It is important to appoint a party that can become the central point of contact in the network. As one of the two institutions with a clearly defined collection of garden and landscape architecture, Het Nieuwe Instituut has indicated that it wishes to fulfil this coordinating role. A scout or forerunner can show how the various partners can work together and what role the central contact point should play.

Until further notice, the contact address for all matters regarding the investigation is collection@hetnieuweinstituut.nl

Het Nieuwe Instituut as national heritage institution

As a national heritage institution, Het Nieuwe Instituut preserves the history of architecture, design and digital culture. We are committed to viewing that history from different perspectives. In the investigation into a possible network of Garden and Landscape Architecture Archives, we approach garden and landscape architecture not only from the perspectives of architecture and urban planning but also as an autonomous discipline with its own design vision. Moreover, the investigation embraces not only archives of garden and landscape architects but also those archives created by bodies involved in the creation, layout and design of the landscape, such as water boards and organisations involved in nature conservation.

Het Nieuwe Instituut manages the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, but is also committed to the decentralised management of and access to other archives from the design domain, for example through the Network of Design and Digital Culture Archives.