RKD Netherland Institute for art History
Until 2019, the RKD presented dendrochronological reports and work drawings drafted by Em. Prof. Dr. Peter Klein (University of Hamburg). At that time, the research community expressed a strong desire to also consult the raw data from the dendrochronological research – data that can also be used for further research by other scholars. Now, vast amounts of raw data, also known as measurement series, provided by Professor Klein will be freely available to the general public thanks to the collaboration between the RKD and CATS. The effort was made possible thanks to generous funds provided by the Danish Carlsberg Foundation.
Dendrochronology is the study of wooden objects, such as panel paintings, which focuses on the width of the annual growth rings in the wood. Climate conditions determines the width of each annual growth ring throughout the lifetime of a tree, resulting in unique variations in the widths of the growth rings specific to each time period and types of wood. Dendrochronologists compare these tree ring patterns, or measurement series, with growth ring chronologies from thousands of trees. In doing so, they are able to establish the precise geographical origins of wooden objects, as well as to date them.
The dendrochronological data can be freely downloaded via the Dendro4Art portal. It provides a platform for scholars to share information about dendrochronology and remain up to date on the subject, and also enables interested parties to learn more about dendrochronology. The hub is linked to the RKD’s databases, in particular RKDtechnical (research data from technical research on art objects) and RKDimages (art historical and object information).
This wealth of data at the heart of the RKD ensures that the dendrochronological data is safeguarded within a sustainable infrastructure. RKD and CATS therefore explicitly invite researchers to share their data via the Dendro4Art platform with the aim of providing a dynamic and ever-growing dendro-network.