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KOG Preservation, digitisation and online publication of paper collections

Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap

The Royal Dutch Antiquarian Society (KOG) was founded in 1858 to preserve Dutch cultural heritage. As such, it is also the birthplace of the current Rijksmuseum. From the outset, its members have been building up a collection of artefacts representing the fields of Dutch history, art and applied art.

At present, the KOG collection includes over 50,000 objects, the majority of which are paper artefacts, such as books, drawings, prints and archival documents. The KOG is committed to the preservation and public accessibility of its collections of Works on Paper. Following an inventory phase, the KOG applied to Metamorfoze, the Dutch government’s digitisation fund, to provide the necessary funding for this conservation and digitisation. The third and final phase involves making the collections available online. For this purpose, the KOG applied to Dioraphte.

Illustrated civic guard enlistment notes

‘This involves six sub-collections: The Historical Collection of the Civic Guard, charters, manuscripts, the Amsterdam Atlas, the Ethics and Customs Atlas and the Schoemaker Atlas,’ lists Judith van Gent, member of the executive board. ‘In short, these are all exceptional collections which we are very keen to make public. And that is quite a job. Consider the Archives of the Civic Guard alone. This contains an extensive collection of images, but it also includes, for example, a number of small illustrated enlistment summons to the Civic Guard. All of these will need to be scanned and labelled before they can be published online’.

Rijksmuseum

In the meantime, the second phase is in full swing. Van Gent expects the third phase to begin by the second half of 2022. ‘We will follow in the footsteps of the Rijksmuseum’s digitisation project. The project Print Room Online will soon be ready. Once that is finished we will be able to access the resources at the Rijks. They have set up a sort of production line where historians and art historians can enter all data in the Adlib registration system, in order to make the collections available online for researchers, as well as for the general public.’