Open (research) data, open science, open access, data management plans, data security, protection of privacy… Such are but a few of the many questions that Belgian social scientists are now faced with more than ever. The SODA project team sought to learn more about the needs and concerns of its target audience by sending a needs assessment survey to all Belgian universities.
For over a decade now, the State Archives has been a key player in digital preservation: the institution’s internal developments and the numerous national and international co-operations bear witness of the commitment of the State Archives to tackle this major challenge of the 21st century.
The European Archives Group has prepared Guidelines for the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by archive services. These guidelines provide basic information and practical guidance to archivists regarding the specific challenges for the application of the GDPR in the archival sector. The Guidelines are addressed to public and private institutions that hold archives: National and State Archives, Regional and Municipal Archives, museums, libraries, foundations, etc. They are a work in progress, subject to improvement and enrichment, thanks to the feedback from the archives sector. The Guidelines are currently only available in English, but Dutch, French and German versions are planned for 2019.
The State Archives holds a real treasure of cartographic materials, but handing out original maps and plans in the reading rooms bears the risk of deteriorating the state of conservation of these documents. Indeed, repeated unrolling and rolling-up of these maps and plans that are sometimes of considerable size has taken its toll on the documents, which called for a large-scale digitization campaign. In recent years, some 60,000 maps and plans were digitised. This number increases steadily. Roughly 44,000 of these digital images have been processed and are now available for research.