The vast collection held by the Theater Instituut Nederland (TIN), which is to close at the end of 2012, will be transferred to the University of Amsterdam (UvA). This means that a collection of immense cultural and historic value for the Netherlands has been salvaged and will be preserved for the future.
The collection, representing four centuries of Dutch theatre history, was under threat of disappearing following the decision by the Dutch government to no longer subsidise the TIN. Following consultations between the UvA, the TIN and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), it was decided to transfer the TIN collection to the UvA’s University Library Special Collections. This means that the collection will remain accessible for teaching and research purposes, and as a service to the public. The TIN foundation (Stichting TIN) will continue to exist and will focus its future activities on the recently transferred collection.
The TIN's collection includes 30,000 theatre posters, 146,000 photographs of 22,000 performances, 26,000 portrait photographs of 2,450 theatremakers and an extensive audio and video collection. There are also 20,000 prints and drawings and over 20,000 objects, such as masks, costumes, scale models, stage sets and accessories.
The collection serves as a source of reference for research and teaching on Dutch theatre history and includes a digital database of opening performances dating back to 1751, as well as over 50,000 reviews. Of exceptional value are the 429 archives of theatre companies and performers, among them the Dutch comedians Wim Kan, Louis Davids and Freek de Jonge.
The management of the collection will be financed from the TIN’s current reserves and will not affect UvA’s teaching and research budget. TIN’s appeal against the decision taken by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to block the special purpose reserves has been cancelled.
The TIN organisation itself is currently being dismantled, but the TIN foundation remains committed to ensuring that the collection will continue to be exhibited and updated. New opportunities will be sought in collaboration with UvA's Special Collections to make the collection available to a wider audience.