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Databases of objects in the art and history collections

Research project DI/04 (Research action DI)


Persons :

  • M.  DESAIVE Pierre-Yves - Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium ()
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/11/2005-1/1/2012
  • Dhr.  DE LOOF Chris - Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium ()
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/11/2005-1/1/2012
  • Mevr.  ANGENON Els - Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium ()
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/11/2005-1/1/2012

Description :

The project encompasses two parts : to create a method for the digitization of the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, while completing the online catalogue ; to create an online catalogue for the Royal Museums of Art and History.

Part 1 : ROYAL MUSEUMS OF FINE ARTS

The project has enabled the Royal Museums of Fine Arts to develop the digitization of their collections and to reorganize the digital photo library, while completing the online catalogue of the collections FABRITIUS. A new service, the "Digital Museum", has been created within the course of the project, in charge of all the tasks (scientific research and public services) related to the digitization of the collections and their online access. Due to its expertise in that peculiar field, the team of the Digital Museum has been invited to join the EC-funded project "Digitizing Contemporary Art" (January 2011 – June 2013) as work package leaders for the package "Digitization".

Part 2 : ROYAL MUSEUMS OF ART AND HISTORY

This report will offer an overview of the BELSPO project DI/00/04, which entails the digitisation of the collection information of the Royal Museums of Art and History (RMAH) and Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (RMFAB). The project is part of the first stage of a ten year plan for the digitisation of the collections of the Federal Scientific Institutions, “Digitaliseringsplan van het wetenschappelijke en culturele patrimonium van de Federale Wetenschappelijke Instellingen” (http://digipat.stis.belspo.be/digipat.asp?id=10;20&lang=EN).

Progress

The project starts the 1st of November 2005 in collaboration with RMFAB, under the coordination of RMFAB. Initially, the project will consist of 3 stages, of which the first stage will include the installation of an infrastructure and a first digitisation of the collections. Stage 1 was to last 2 years, 2005 and 2006, to be followed by stage 2 in 2007 and stage 3 in 2008.

Throughout the project, stage 1 of the Digitisation Plan was prolonged several times and extra means have been made available for the activities. The increase in means in 2010 and 2011 has made it possible to engage a specific team for this project, allowing a strong increase in output.

Results

RMAH have a stable and permanent infrastructure for the digital management of the collection information and with it an instrument for the management of the collections themselves.

They have developed and documented work methods that enable the management of diverse collections in one system and do justice to the specific qualities of each collection, among which are several multilingual thesauri.

RMAH apply themselves to work with the present, and mostly international, standards and technologies on systematics and systems, which guarantee compatibility, interoperability and continuity.

81.000 records have been created, of which 35.000 have been provided with a digital image. 33.000 records can be consulted online through the Carmentis website.

Conclusion

The project, to wit the share for which RMAH (Part II) are responsible, aims at the creation of a Museum Collections’ Management System and the digital documentation of a part of the collections in this system.

A stable and permanent infrastructure has been developed for the digital management of information on the RMAH’s collections that, thanks to the nature of the used technologies, offers guarantees for publication, exchange and future preservation of the data that were introduced in this infrastructure.

With the creation of 81.000 records, a substantial part of the collections has been documented with this infrastructure and made available online through the RMAH’s website Carmentis.

The completion of this stage of the Digitisation Plan of the Federal Scientific Institutions sees the end of the DI/00/04 project, but the created infrastructure will continue to be used. The digitisation of the collection information will continue, and the use and application of the system will be broadened and widened.


Documentation :

Bases de données d'objets de collections artistiques et historiques Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (phase 1) : rapport final  Desaive, Pierre-Yves - Lasaracina, Karine - Van de Cappelle, Lies ... et al  Bruxelles : Politique Scientifique fédérale, 2012 (SP2518)
[To download

InfoCol: Digitalisering van de collecties van de KMKG (phase 1) : eindrapport  Desaive, Pierre-Yves - Angenon, Els - Bertholomé, Laetitia ... et al  Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2012 (SP2519)
[To download

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