By Marcel van der Veer
March 2023

Published in Digital heritage

More on Digital heritage, People

Recently, a letter from the National Library of the Netherlands, a distinguished institute founded in 1798, was delivered in my mailbox.

The letter explained that the library is preserving a selection of Dutch websites for future research, and expressed its intention to permanently archive my website as part of our digital heritage. This collection should be a representation of Dutch culture, history and society, on the internet. The library took on itself the gargantuan task of hand-picking sites and seeking consent from each and every selected-site owner.

Yes, by all means, please do archive it, I thought, pleasantly surprised. Being a researcher myself, I would only be too happy to contribute to future research projects. Naturally, I could not help but feel flattered that a learned person had evaluated and selected my site. Thinking a step further, I would be curious about what future researchers might think when reading my epistles decades or perhaps even centuries from now.

If you, dear fellow researcher, would have found this post in an archive when I am long gone, then know that I have thought of you and have wished you well. In a sense the collection is both a time capsule and a message in a bottle. You and me interacting this way, bridging time, shines new light on a verse by my eloquent cousin-in-law, the Andalusian poet and writer Juan Carlos Friebe :

Haz eterno • el olvido • en la memoria

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