RKD welcomes the first million scans

First million objects of the Visual Documentation are now digitized

The RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History is rapidly digitising its visual collection of 5.5 million images. This week we achieved a milestone by completing the millionth scan. In the autumn of 2020 the collection of visual documentation will become available using a new online platform for digital art-historical research.

New possibilities through digitisation

The RKD provides worldwide access to knowledge and information about the visual arts of the Low Countries in an international context for museums, the academic community as well as the general public. By digitising the much used visual documentation – a resource that holds a unique place in the world because of its content, but also its extent and the way in which it is arranged – and making the material available online, we are opening the door to a wide range of new opportunities. Visual search will, for example, accelerate, simplify and enrich the research into works of art. In addition, a text search can provide new information about the provenance or whereabouts of objects. What is more, anytime and from anywhere in the world, users can put their search results side by side at the touch of a button and zoom in on details for close-up examination.

Near future

Digitisation of the RKD's visual documentation began in June 2018. In collaboration with Picturae and with the help of state-of-the-art scanning technology, we are making available and ensuring the long-term preservation of documents that belong to our national heritage. The digitised images can be consulted in our study and reading rooms via the temporary RKD Viewer app and will become accessible in the autumn of 2020 via the online platform that is under construction, offering users a host of further possibilities to do research.

More information on RKD's digitisation can be found here.

In collaboration with Picturae the RKD is digitising its collection of visual documentation using the latest scanning technology. Photograph: Picturae.