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Historic Interiors

Development of a tool for the valuation of historic interiors.

The guidelines, On the museum scales, forms a basis for collection managers dealing with valuation issues. However the determination of the cultural value of an historic interior involves a whole range of various distinct aspects.

Collection Cabinet Abraham Willet.

The collection cabinet of Abraham Willet (Museum Willet-Holthuysen, Amsterdam), © Amsterdam Museum

Hence a tool especially tailored to interiors was developed: the Historical Interiors Cultural Valuation Guidelines.


The guidelines help monument and collection managers to arrive at a 'Specification of Significance'.  This is a well-reasoned and concise text with a summary of the values, significance and importance attributed to the interior. Following these guidelines results in advanced insights and a greater awareness of the cultural values of interiors to be assessed.

The same language

The terms and concepts used in the guidelines are derived from the general professional literature. Using a uniform terminology encourages users to 'speak the same language' so that the personally slanted, subjective valuation becomes more objective. Thus it is wise to consistently use these terms and concepts in the process of valuation.

How the tool helps

The cultural valuation can serve as a starting point for a well-founded decision or specific action. The guidelines help in weighing up the importance of the interior and to discuss it with users or public, to increase public accessibility, to make decisions about interventions in the interior, to set priorities for collection and management and make conflicting interests negotiable. And, last but not least, to explain why an interior deserves protection and investment.


In developing the guidelines, the RCE called on the expertise of other parties involved in the valuation of interiors: the Office of Monuments & Archaeology in Amsterdam, and the Gelderland Landscape & Gelderland Castles Foundation.