In what way can archivists, make legitimate acquisition choices in a society of which they are part? Most of the time the collection of records, be it public or private, is carried out in a curious mixture of systematic and less structured, even haphazard labour. The case of the Netherlands, on a national and local level, illustrates this practice. Because of legislation public records in the Netherlands are subject to the systematic approach; the future of private records, however, is rather insecure. Keeping aside institutional archival organizations consistently aiming at collecting private records - like the International Institute for Social History (Amsterdam) or the Catholic Documentation Centre (Nijmegen) - in general their survival is due to clever operating individual archivists and, at times, a tribute to the kindness and compassion of the creator. Repositories, in general, lack an acquisition-policy and therefore, one could say, society's archival memory rests on caoutchouc pillars. Topic of Interest The acquisition of public and private archival collections by institutional archival organizations.