‘World Class Rapid Digitization of Cultural Heritage’
Stadsarchief Amsterdam
Jacob Olie | Stadsarchief Amsterdam

Image Bank Amsterdam: a Public Success

Nearly ten years after the creation of their first municipal image bank, the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam has a new image bank! To achieve this, it was necessary for Picturae to thoroughly examine the original image database. The result was, and is, a resounding public success.

Stadsarchief Amsterdam
Fotocollectie Stadsarchief Amsterdam

The project

The biggest changes in comparison to the old image bank are:

1. Redesigned front page. Most noticeable change is the new front page with 'images of the day' on which five new images are shown every day. These images are date-linked where possible. Links to the latest news from the City Archives are also included. The search function has been expanded to allow a search for a specific address, date or house number.

2. Viewer. The image bank's viewer has been completely updated. It now has its own page making it easier to browse through the search results. Plans and maps, such as the recently added seventeenth-century land allocation maps of the canal, can be viewed in full screen.

3. Share. The options for sharing photos and selections are extensive. It is possible to publish a selection from the Image Bank on another website. There are links to various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and pictures may be sent by e-mail.

4. Widget. It is now possible to export the results from an image database search using a widget. The user simply has to copy the appropriate code onto their own site. The images will therefore reach an even wider audience.

The History of Amsterdam in pictures

Stadsarchief Amsterdam
Fotocollectie Stadsarchief Amsterdam

The City Archives is the heart of the historical documentation of the city of Amsterdam. It includes an impressive 35 kilometres of archives: a historical-topographical collection with millions of maps, drawings and prints, a library and extensive sound, film and photo archives. The City Archives tells Amsterdams story through images. Thus, work from classic Amsterdam city photographers such as Jacob Oil, may here be found. Although Oil was an amateur, he was a pioneering photographer who has made a great contribution to our perception of the 19th century.

The Amsterdam image database generously makes tens of thousands of photographs and prints available free of charge, even from well known photographers such as Ed van der Elsken and Frits Weeda. The user can find a file, make a request and have a print made. The image bank is an application of Memorix, thus providing the convenience of a complete management environment. The functionalities are in constant development.

History of the project

The Amsterdam City Archives became the first municipal archive in the Netherlands to make their collections easily accessible to different audiences, thanks to the image bank developed by Picturae. This project was an entirely new concept, with the premise being that all the images should immediately be visible on the front page of the image bank., and it was a resounding public success. Picturae also opted for the principle of filtering, so simplifying the search process and allowing results to be efficiently refined. Through the image bank the City Archives hopes to offer the most complete collection of topographic information of Amsterdam possible.

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