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Archive collecting expat memories

A historical collection of letters, memoirs and diaries in the Netherlands aims to preserve the experiences of expatriate communities across the world.

Speaking to migrant information website Expatica.com, The Expatriate Archive’s managing director Elske van Holk-Van Eysinga said she had never come across another enterprise with the same mission, making the collection unique.

She explained that one of the archive’s tasks is to file information online: "Our work includes scanning documents, doing online research, finding expats who keep blogs and managing social meeting points such as Facebook and Hyves."

Bloggers writing about their experiences may be contacted to ask whether the centre can download material for its collection, she added.

Ms van Holk-Van Eysinga said she defined expats as those who take up temporary residence in a foreign country: "Once the expat decides to take up permanent residence, he or she becomes an immigrant in our eyes."

The archive is offering a series of workshops this year, encouraging expats to write about their life abroad and learn more about the collection.

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