National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Beelden Voor De Toekomst (Images for the Future)

Six Dutch cultural heritage and knowledge-exchange institutions have united to form the ‘Consortium on Images for the future’. Their goal is the conservation, digitisation and accessibility of collections from the Filmmuseum, the Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision) and the Nationaal Archief (National Archive). To meet this goal, a distributional infrastructure will be estalished with the Centrale Discotheek Rotterdam ( and the Vereniging van Openbare Bibliotheken (Association of Public Libraries). Experts on intellectual property rights and development issues are supplied by the Stichting Nederland Kennisland (Dutch KnowledgeLand Foundation).

The end product of the project is the conservation, digitisation, and accessibility of:

  • 137.200 hours of video,
  • 22.510 hours of film,
  • 123.900 hours of audio,
  • 2.9 million photos,

all for educational use, the creative industries, and the general public. Priority will be given to materials either devoid of intellectual property rights, or licensed under Creative Commons. Support will also be provided for new services related to the Dutch audiovisual collections for the educational sector, heritage institutions, the creative industries, and society in general.

The National Archive coordinates the consortium on conservation and digitsation of photographs for good reason. The photographic collection in the National Archive is extensive and of relevance to a very broad public. In the future, a considerable amount of the Archives’ services will be delivered digitally. Meanwhile, there are already a number of different initiatives in the area, such as Flickr, Geo-tagging etc. The ‘Images for the Future’ project will deliver an important contribution to the promotion of e-culture, one of the most important causes for the State Archives Service in the coming years.

The ‘Images for the Future’ project means the following for the National Archive:

  • The ingest of 1.2 million photos
  • The digitisation, and where necessary restoration, and contextualisation of cultural heritage images
  • Availability of the images for educational purposes
  • Items with clear IP rights
  • Recommendations on conservation and digitisation of photographic collections for consortium partners.

Guidelines for digitisation of photo's and negatives

On the 27th of September 2010 the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands has presented a manual for the digitisation of photographic materials, as a part of the project Images of the Future.

Read the Guidelines Digitisation of photographic materials.