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Central Register of Design Archives

What is the Central Register of Design Archives (CRDa)?
The CRDa provides an overview of design archives in the Netherlands (online from 31 May 2007, see also under symposium). It is a database with information about archives of individual designers, design agencies, manufacturers, design galleries and designers’ societies. The CRDa is part of a catch-up project and is subsidized by the Mondrian Foundation.

The content of the CRDa
At present the CRDa comprises the names of over 1700 designers and companies. It contains basic registration data (full name, vital dates and specialisation) for approximately 300 archives of national and international importance. Full registration of key data, providing more detailed information, has been completed for a group of 40 selected archives.

In the period 2007-2010 the CRDa intends to register key data for and documentation of 400 design archives falling into the categories of national or international importance. The selection is based on lists of names of design archives compiled by the Design Archives Working Group, on various descriptions passed to the Design Archives Working Group by others and on the concluding recommendations presented in 2006 by the Advisory Committee on Design Archives.
For more information see the following links:

CRDa in a wider context
Report A future for design archives by P. Timmer (2005; pdf)

The CRDa provides information about general content, size, date and whereabouts. The short descriptive entries can be searched using keywords. Among the archives recorded in the database are those of national heritage institutions as well as private individuals. Entries exist for some designers even though the whereabouts, or even the existence of relevant archives remains unknown. At the other end of the scale are design archives housed in national heritage institutions, which are accessible to the public by means of an archive inventory. Where possible, links are provided to online inventories of the institutions themselves.

Searching the CRDa
The search form contains help texts, suggestions and tips which help you to navigate and search in the database. You can search using words from the title of an archive and the name of an archive design. The CRDa is linked to RKDartists&, allowing you to combine design archive searches with biographical information on the designers. For example, a search on ‘industrial designer’ via the ‘Qualifications’ field in RKDartists& will result in an overview of all industrial designers entered in the CRDa. You can then click on a link which will take you to the archive description.

Your reactions
Collecting data related to design archives and entering these into the CRDa is an ongoing process. We welcome new information and would also like to be told of any design archives that are at risk.

Anja Tollenaar, project coordinator CRDa

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