The Regional Historic Center Limburg is a modern, professional organisation that, in addition to legal tasks related to the management of government archives, also develops and supports various activities in the area of regional and local history, such as guided tours, courses, lectures, exhibitions, publications, television productions, and other public events.
The Regional Historic Center Limburg often works together with other related institutions in the (eu)region.
As the Regional Historic Center Limburg (RHC Limburg), we gather all kinds of information that fall within our acquisitions profiles and that are suitable to serve as a basis for a historical reconstruction of the city of Maastricht and the Province of Limburg (including the previously existing territories) and her residents. In part, this function falls under the legal tasks as articulated in the Archives Act of 1995.
We manage information with the aim to preserve it for future generations. We do this through conservation, restoration and duplication of originals, among other tasks.
The material upon which the information is recorded (not only paper, but also perkament, photos and negatives) is liable to deteriorate somewhat with time and may suffer from general use or other damage. To protect the information as much as possible for future use, we implement various strategies.
The conditions in which the materials are stored has a great impact on their life-span. This is why in the 1990s, advanced underground depots were built with a total storage capacity stretching 27 kilometers. The archive depots were built under high demands concerning the climate (temperature and humidity), ventilation, air purity, lighting, and water and fire safety.
Much damage and deterioration can be avoided simply by using appropriate packaging materials. The packaging to be used is determined according to the chemical nature of the material to be packaged. To pack paper, for example, acid free boxes and covers should be used.
The production of microfilms and digitisation are used towards several goals. On the one hand, to improve the accessibility and search possibilities of information (via the internet for example) and on the other hand, to avoid further wear and tear of original materials. Even modern information carriers (like CD-ROMs and DVDs) are subject to material deterioration. The maintenance of digital information in the future (digital sustainability) currently has our full attention.
conservative treatment and restoration
Sometimes due to damage, wear and tear, chemical degradation or corrosion from moisture, molds and/or insects, the materials we acquire are hardly fit for consultation. In such instances, we carry out a conservative treatment or even a restoration. We have a restoration workshop for just this purposes, where damaged pieces can be repaired.
availability and consultation
We make our information available in a range of ways: in the study hall, via internet and exhibitions, publications, courses, radio and TV programs. All of the archive pieces and collections (except for recent archives protected for reasons of privacy) are available to everyone for consultation.
In the study hall, our staff members are ready to help visitors with any questions, advice or possible further support with their research. Looking into the archives is free of charge. Only for making photocopies, there is a small fee involved.
Visitors come to the RHC Limburg for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they are looking for a piece of evidence, for example for their right to pension or for the restoration of their monumental residence. However, visitors are most often interested in 'regular' historical research. Frequently, this is research in their home town, or regarding their family (genealogy or family tree research.
supervision and advice
The RHC Limburg supervises and gives advise on the management of municipal archives within the province of Limburg to ensure a good, well-structured and accessible state of long-term management and thereby to guarantee the authenticity of the information concerned.