Conservation and management of the Anne Frank Collection

Digitisation of the paper collection

Preservation of the paper heritage

The collection of the Anne Frank House is largely paper-based - just think of all the letters and documents. Metamorfoze has helped us in preserving this paper heritage. Thanks to this national programme, the main part of the paper collection has been preserved and digitised.

A large paper-based collection

The Anne Frank House collection contains a large number of paper items, such as letters and postcards from the Frank family, and files from Otto Frank’s company. The entire collection comprises approximately 15,000 objects and 15 metres of archive. 

Examples from the paper collection:

•    a letter written by Anne
•    lesson materials used by Margot
•    correspondence between Otto and the readers of the Diary
•    Opekta files
•    the original script of the play

Thanks to Metamorfoze, many collection pieces have been digitised. Moreover, the entire collection has been repacked into new, acid-free boxes. Some minor repair work was done as well, such as flattening, deacidifying, and repairing small tears in the paper.

About Metamorfoze

Metamorfoze, the national programme for the preservation of our paper heritage, was established in 1997 and is funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW). One of the conservation methods applied by Metamorfoze is digitisation (preservation imaging). Organisations can apply for a grant to preserve their collection. This may help prevent the decay of paper from acidification, ink corrosion, and copper corrosion in numerous collections. In 2005 and 2011, the Anne Frank House received a grant to digitise, repack, and preserve large parts of its collection.

How digitising a collection works

Documents are digitised at a high resolution (preservation imaging). This means that the digital images are of such a high quality that they can replace the original material. Further research can be done on the computer, and the original items do not have to be taken out of the archives as often.

Sustainable storage

The digital files are stored sustainably in the e-depot of the National Archives of the Netherlands. In order to guarantee the highest possible quality of the digital copies, Metamorfoze has drawn up a set of technological standards that must be met.

Read more about the Metamorfoze programme