The project is based on three principles:

1) Archaeological institutions have an interest in finding non-professional photographs of their excavations. By finding ‘new’ photographic material, the existing documentation of the excavation will be extended and enhanced and can provide an image of aspects of an excavation which are not included in the published documentation. In addition, as has been demonstrated above, this genre of photographs may provide the institutions with additional scientific data which may be useful for the archaeological research relating to the specific site(s). Furthermore, by comparing the non-professional photographs with the official documentation made by the former staff, it is also possible to get a notion of the practised documentation policy at that site. Pictures of particular features or phases of the excavation taken by non-professionals and which are not present in the official documentation, reveal the decisions taken by the staff at the time of what to record and what to leave out. In this way, comparing the two categories of recording offers institutions insight into the development of this area of the archaeological discipline.

2) Archaeological institutions have an interest in digitising newly-discovered non-professional photographs and in making them accessible to both scholars and the general public. Frequently, over the years, it has become practice for institutions to join forces and work in co-operation on a specific archaeological campaign. By sharing the newly-discovered photographic material via digital databases, they will be within easy reach of all parties concerned.

Eerst inventarisatie november 2016, Marlijn en Thom
3) Archaeological institutions have an interest in joining the NPAPH project. Despite the fact that institutions manage their own digital archives themselves, host them on their server and place them on their websites, participation in the NPAPH project is valuable for several reasons. The main argument is that it generates one central portal ( for all the digital ‘non-professional photographs archives’. As has been mentioned above, excavations are frequently carried out by joint expeditions. Due to the presence of multiple parties, interested persons who want to find new documentation on a campaign, may get confused as to where to find specific records. Thanks to the central portal, this quest will be simplified: the visitor will be redirected unnoticeably from the central portal to the database in question at the institution’s website by means of a simple link. Besides, there are also practical advantages to participating in the NPAPH project. The NPAPH website not only provides information about the project itself, but is also the place where visitors can ask questions about the project, the digital archives or the participating institutions. This is why only one contact person is required for answering the questions and – if necessary – to pass on requests to the institutions concerned. The central website also functions as a means to inform visitors about related news provided by the institutions and as a place for their queries. Finally, accommodating the several non-professional photographs archives into one administration also means that promoting the NPAPH project will draw attention to and endorse all the participating archives, the related excavations and institutions.