‘World Class Rapid Digitization of Cultural Heritage’
National Archives of Belgium
Rijksarchief Brussel

State Archives

The Belgian State Archives consists of the General State Archives in Brussels and nineteen State Archives spread out over the country. This stately institution, with archives stretching to a total of more than 200 kilometres and a library stretching 25 kilometres, entrusted Picturae with the task of developing a new quadrilingual, EAD-access website and search machine.

EAD-standard archives

In addition to a comprehensive overview of services provided by the State Archives, the website contains the means of access to its files. The institution has implemented a process of retroconversion from various digital files to a much more compact EAD document. This document contains information about accessible sections, descriptions of the various archive components and relevant analyses.


The system developed by Picturae retrieves the remaining management information in real-time, for example concerning the consultability of files, order numbers and archive block details, from the ABS Archeion archive management system and converts it into a correct EAD file that is saved to a database, fully optimised for disclosure on the State Archives website. The system also provides a way of disclosing the multitude of detailed analyses (among which are the notarial deeds issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages), thereby enabling users to search by name and display the entire context of the corresponding archive block.

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Jeroen Bloothoofd