In June 2011 the University of Antwerp received the quality label ‘Erkende Erfgoedbibliotheek’ (Acknowledged Heritage Library) from the Flemish government for its heritage collections kept in the Special Collections department of the University Library on the one hand and in the Library of the Ruusbroec Institute on the other hand.
Following the May 23 2008 Cultural Heritage decree the Flemish government awards this label to organizations that take exemplaryresponsibility as administrators of cultural heritage materials. These libraries practice the five basic tasks of cultural heritage management (recognition and collection, preservation and safeguarding, presentation and guiding, participation) in a balanced manner and guarantee commitment to these tasks on management level. This recognition 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 nonprofit organization Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek organization (Flanders Heritage Library) is a network of heritage libraries. It was established at the end of 2008 by six representative libraries from various Flemish provinces at the end of 2008:
Each of these partner libraries holds specific collections and related fields of expertise. This knowledge and experience is applied to support the field of heritage libraries in Flanders.
De Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek is geared towards anyone with an interest in written, printed and digital heritage collections in libraries. Through projects and research, with support from the Flemish government, the organization aims to develop competence and spread knowledge about preserving, digitizing heritage library collections as well as making them accessible. Additionally, the Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek ensures the exchange of expertise and professionalism in the sector, whilst creating awareness about the riches of heritage library collections in Flanders.