At the present time the Nederlands Fotomuseum is responsible for more than 160 archives of historical and contemporary photographers. It therefore manages an important part of the visual heritage of the Netherlands. Ed van der Elsken, Aart Klein and Cas Oorthuys are just a few of the examples of leading photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries, whose entire archives are conserved by the museum. Work by contemporary photographers such as Bertien van Manen, Hans van der Meer, Vincent Mentzel, Viviane Sassen and Mieke Van der Voort is also represented in the collection. The collection grows annually with the support of donations, legacies and purchases.
The Nederlands Fotomuseum presents the history of photography from a contemporary perspective, making use of new presentations, technologies and platforms. A maximum visibility of the collection and the involvement of as broad a public as is possible are seen as just as relevant aims as contemplation, deeper exploration and one’s pleasure in viewing. Photographs from the museum collection are regularly drawn on for in-house exhibitions and the museum provides newspapers, publishers, curators of exhibtions and private individuals with photographs on daily basis. Part of the collection can be viewed digitally via the image bank.