The Dutch Diary Archive (Nederlands Dagboekarchief, or NDA) is an archive dedicated to the life writings of ‘common’ people, that is people who haven’t written about their experiences during the war, or have not played a notable part in history. Inspired by the German Diary Archive in Emmendingen, Mirjam Nieboer and Monica Soeting decided in 2009 to found the Dutch Diary Archive and collect diaries that are not collected by any of the aforementioned institutes. The items they started the collection with consisted of a box filled with tiny diaries written by the grandfather of Mirjam’s husband, and the teenage diaries of Mirjam’s sister, which were housed in Mirjam’s attic.
On February 11, 2013, the collection of the NDA was moved to the archives of the Meertens Institute for research of the Dutch language and culture in Amsterdam. Not only was Mirjam’s attic an inappropriate place to store diaries and letters (which we also collect), but the attic had in fact become too small; within three years several hundred diaries, unpublished memoirs and letters were collected by NDA. IN the same year, two people were asked to join the NDA-staff, and fortunately for NDA agreed: Bertie van der Meij, who takes care of the NDA publications, the website and social media, and Nina Wijsbek, who sees to the NDA database, amongst other things. At this point, about fifty volunteers help us to read and summarise the diaries and memoirs in our collection.
Address: Nederlands Dagboekarchief, Meertens Instituut, Oudezjids Achterburgwal 185, 1001 DK, Amsterdam