Wanted: Your Experiences of Working and Living Abroad

Today in the ‘InterNations Recommends’ category, we would like to introduce to you the Expat Archive Centre. The name is pretty self-explanatory … The Expat Archive Centre collects memories and testimonials from expats all over the world, stores them and makes them accessible for offline (and hopefully soon also online) research, thus documenting the global social history of expatriate life!

So next time you’re upping sticks and moving to another country, you don’t have to face the difficult decision: Do I really want to burden myself by taking all these memorabilia of my time here with me, or can I face throwing them away? Just donate them to the Expat Archive Centre: Your memories will be kept in a safe place for you and preserved for posterity – dilemma solved.

Housing a fascinating collection of life stories from across the globe, the Expatriate Archive Centre aims to preserve and make accessible the memories of expatriates of all nationalities and employment backgrounds. The Centre conserves materials which could otherwise be lost, damaged or discarded, to establish a valuable facility for researchers worldwide.

Since its inception in 2002, the historical collection has grown and diversified to include a wide range of writings, diaries, letters, memoirs, photographs, videos, blogs, DVDs and oral history recordings about the lives of people living and working overseas. These include photographs from as far back as 1917, family films, and handwritten diaries.

The Archive always welcomes new contributions from expatriates and their families. The Centre is interested in anything which illustrates day-to-day life including:

• Journals, diaries and memoirs
• Letters, emails and blogs
• Paperwork e.g. official documents, customs forms, packing lists, invitations, ID cards and licences
• Photos, films and DVDs

The collection is available for research and will soon be available online. Anyone who donates material can have it picked up for free from anywhere in the world and receive a digital copy to keep. All material is stored in a climate-controlled storage room. Archival procedures and regulations regarding data protection and copyrights are adhered to, and donors’ wishes with regards to privacy are respected.

If you have a collection and would like to contribute it to the Archive, or if you want further information, visit the website at http://www.xpatarchive.com.

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