The Dutch Graphic Designers Archives Foundation (Stichting Nederlands Archief Grafisch Ontwerpers-NAGO) was set up in 1992 on the initiative of graphic designer Ben Bos. The foundation’s objective is to acquire the archives of Dutch graphics agencies, graphic designers of Dutch nationality or living in the Netherlands, preserve them and make them accessible. Illustrators and industrial designers have much in common with graphic designers. The foundation’s scope has therefore been enlarged to include some of their archives as well.
NAGO either acquires the archives or receives them on loan. After having been cleaned, described and durably packed, the archives are entrusted to a suitable institution for further preservation. In this respect, NAGO collaborates with institutes specializing in preserving archives (e.g. the Amsterdam Stadsarchief), libraries (e.g. the Amsterdam Universiteitsbibliotheek) and the Graphic Design Museum in Breda. At the moment, over twenty archives have been preserved and made accessible.
The archives are made accessible through a database that was developed specially on NAGO’s behalf. NAGO is able to use the database to combine descriptions of objects and archives. Pictures are taken of a great number of records, particularly of finished articles and sketches. Both the descriptions of the archives and the pictures may be seen on the NAGO website. These measures allow the site to provide a thorough visual survey of the development and versatility of the design heritage of the Netherlands.
Furthermore, NAGO endeavors to promote the archives and the Dutch design heritage by organizing meetings and symposiums, issuing publications, and participating in exhibitions. In addition, NAGO works in close cooperation with other institutes for the joint realization of larger projects in the field of graphic design.
The Foundation receives financial assistance from various sources, such as the Mondriaan Foundation, the BankGiro Lottery, the copyright organization Pictoright, the Prince Bernard Cultural Fund and the VSB Fund Foundation. NAGO has a long-term cooperation agreement with the Graphic Design Museum and ReclameArsenaal, a foundation engaged in preserving the Dutch publicity heritage. There is also a large group of patrons and friends who support the Foundation.
At the time of writing (2009) NAGO’s director is Marie Christine van der Sman, and the foundation employs four registrars. Furthermore, there is a board consisting of five members. The chairman is Titus Yocarini, nowadays managing director of the Museum voor Communicatie, in The Hague. Please contact NAGO if you have any questions or if you wish to become a patron/friend.