In June 2011 the University of Antwerp received the quality label of ‘Erkende Erfgoedbibliotheek’ (Acknowledged Heritage Library) from the Flemish government for its heritage collections kept in the Special Collections department on the one hand and in the Library of the Ruusbroec Institute on the other hand.
In line with the 2008 Cultural Heritage bill (23 May 2008) the Flemish government bestows this label upon organizations that take exemplary responsibility as a administrators of cultural heritage materials. These libraries apply themselves to the five basic functions of heritage management (recognition and collection, preservation and securing, presentation and guiding, participation) and commit themselves to these functions as far as management is concerned. This label creates possibilities for (international) loans, the mobility of collections and the exchange of information.
Since 2014 the Special Collections department also holds a top item.
The Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek organization (Flanders Heritage Library) is a network of heritage libraries. It was established by six representative libraries from various Flemish provinces at the end of 2008:
Each of these partner libraries holds specific collections and with those certain fields of expertise. They put this knowledge and experience to work to support the field of heritage libraries in Flanders.
Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek is geared towards anyone with an interest in written, printed and digital heritage collections in libraries. Through projects and research, this organisation aims to develop competence and spread knowledge about preserving heritage library collections and making them accessible. Additionally, it wishes to raise public awareness about the riches of heritage library collections in Flanders.