Name of presenter: Ad Aerts

About the presenter: Currently works for University of Amsterdam as an cultural heritage database specialist.

Intended audience: Anyone interested in mixed collection


The Theater Instituut started as a Theatre Museum, established by a few enthusiasts in 1924. Some private collections were purchased at that time to create the initial collection. The museum opened with its library and exhibitions to the public in 1952. It was later to merge with the Dutch Centre of the International Theatre Institute, and an archive of stage sound and image in the late 1970’s, to become the Nederlands Theater Instituut. Separate smaller service institutes for dance, mime and puppetry were incorporated in the organisation. The institute used to take care of several collections, including books, videos, photographs, audio recordings, but also a large museum collection with (amon g others) costumes, stage props, models, and puppets. For years the organisation was structurally funded by the Dutch government as a nation wide sector institute for theatre in the netherlands. Until 2011 when the institute was informed that subsidies would stop completely as of 2013.


Fortunately thecollections and some of the staff were adopted by the University of Amsterdam. But this  was a huge process of changes in many ways. This presentation will demonstrate what happens when a complete cultural institution is abolished and when its services are taken over by another organisation with different goals and procedures, focusing on opportunities. TIN used to manage all of its collection in an Adlib database, with some custom extensions for managing theater performance metadata. UvA used an Aleph (Ex Libris) library database (also in use for its museum collections), strongly tied to Worldcat. The beginning of a process that was beneficial to all involved .