gahetNA in the National Archives



This database was a joint initiative of the Nationaal Archief and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Background information: Marijke van Faassen (Institute of Netherlands History), Stef Buytendijk (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Rick van Velden (Nationaal Archief)

Image editing: Gijs Boink, Ron Guleij and Arnold Oppelaar (Nationaal Archief)

Text editing: Arnold Oppelaar (Nationaal Archief)

The information was entered into the database by three staff members of the Haeghe Groep Diensten and the staff of the semi-static archive of the Directie Documentaire Informatievoorziening (department of documentary information provision) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The photographs on this website are from the Nationaal Archief and from the private collection of Marijke van Faassen.

Public access and privacy

Some of the cards in the Australian Emigration Cards Archive contain information relating to living persons. To protect these persons’ privacy public access to the Archive is restricted: access can be obtained only under certain conditions. For more information see the website of Nationaal Archief under #todo reading room explanation.

When a visitor has gained permission to consult the emigration cards in the reading room of the Nationaal Archief, before accessing the cards he or she must sign a declaration to ensure that the privacy of living persons is safeguarded.

The database
Some of the data in the database, which serves as an inventory for the card-index boxes with the emigration cards, also relate to living persons. In deciding whether to publish the database on this website, the Nationaal Archief had to weigh up the pros and cons: the interests represented by the Personal Data Protection Act on the one hand and the importance of publication on the other.

The following points were taken into consideration:

  • In compiling the database a deliberate choice was made to include only a limited amount of information from the emigration cards. Privacy-sensitive information, for example about religion, health and employment history, is not available on the website.
  • Publication fits in with the policy whereby various groups of migrants in the Netherlands and overseas are supported and stimulated to look at historical personal data as a point of departure and source of inspiration for further research into their own history.
  • The personal information published in this database is already partly accessible to the public in other forms. Passenger lists of migrant ships from the 1950s onwards are available to the public in several Dutch archives. In Australia and other immigration countries such as the US, Canada and New Zealand the archive services provide systematic access to the passenger lists of immigrant ships and naturalization lists from that time. A great deal of the personal data contained in the database can already be found on the website of the National Archives of Australia (RecordSearch) in databases containing the registration of immigrants and information related to naturalizations.

Use for historical research only

The significance of the database lies in its value for historical research and in fact it is not suitable for any other use. However, it is desirable that every user is aware of the purpose of the database; therefore, before the database can be consulted, the user must provide a digital declaration that the data will be used for historical research only.

Copies of the emigration cards

The procedures for releasing copies of the emigration cards, with all the information contained on them (including the privacy-sensitive information), will be those which already apply to the consulting and copying of restricted-access archive material relating to living persons.

This means that a copy of the emigration card of a living person will be supplied only to that person. Copies will be supplied to others only if they have explicit permission from the person named on the card. A copy can also be supplied if the person lodging the request can prove that the person named on the card is deceased.

Protection of personal data of third parties

In certain cases the Nationaal Archief may decide not to supply a copy of the card, in order to protect the privacy of other persons – third parties – who are named on the emigration card.

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gahetNA is a website of the Society for the Nationaal Archief in cooperation with the Nationaal Archief and Spaarnestad Photo.
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