‘World Class Rapid Digitization of Cultural Heritage’
A glass-negative from Jacob Olie digitized  by Picturae
Jacob Olie | Stadsarchief Amsterdam

Negatives and Slides

Negatives and slides are often stored in depots, hidden from the public. Projects involving collections such as these are an exciting challenge for Picturae. What started as a passion for photography has evolved into the innovative digitising method for negatives and slides used by Picturae today.

Types of Material

We digitise transparent objects of all sizes and formats, of which the most common are of course negatives in black and white or in colour, but we're also able to digitise large-format glassnegatives, slides, lantern images and even X-rays. In principle we can digitise anything transparent! Picturae offers a comprehensive solution for negatives that includes everything from secure transport, dust removal and digitising to making collections publically availabe online and storing them safely in our e-depot. 


Transparencies are often framed in glass or plastic of varying thickness. The packaging and the quality of  transparencies is very varied, which is why each digitising assignment requires a customised solution, as well as the expertise to guarantee the highest quality.

Contact Sheet Method

In order to efficiently process a collection of transparencies, Picturae has developed a digitising method based on transparent folders. The negatives or slides are inserted into one or more folders, after which the entire folder is digitised at once. This speeds up the digitising process and makes it possible to reproduce large collections at a low cost. It also makes it easier to select negatives that require an even higher standard of digitising. This so-called 'contact sheet method' was used by Kors van Bennekom when he and the Kors van Bennekom Archive Foundation were required to select 13,000 negatives from the more than 700,000 kept in his archive. The selection has since been made available for the public to enjoy on his special collection website.