First RM in new academic season


September 19, 2013, 2013

Lotte Wilms, Steven Claeyssens, Clemens Neudecker (National Library, KB), Hugo Huurdeman (University of Amsterdam, UvA)

Digital Humanities at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek

In the past two decades or so, national libraries have been digitising millions of pages of books, newspapers, magazines and other text based collections. In this digital age, the research landscape is changing rapidly, with scholars able to ask new types of questions and answer them in novel ways by working with a wide variety of materials and in new collaborative modes.

The National Library of the Netherlands (KB) has planned to have digitised and OCRed its entire collection of books, periodicals and newspapers from 1470 onwards by the year 2030. But already in 2013, 10% of this enormous task will be completed, resulting in 73 million digitised pages, either from the KB itself or via public-private partnerships as Google Books and ProQuest. Many are already available via various websites (e.g.,,, and we are working on a single entry point to (re)search all sets simultaneously.

All these changes in the research landscape also ask for a change in the way the library works with the users and researchers of the material. This presentation will deal with the steps the KB has taken to support the requests for the researchers by setting up a Data Services team to simplify the access to our data. The Data Services team also works closely with the Research department, where work is also being done to offer (technical) support to the users and to gather input to better meet the needs of the researchers.
Already curious about our sets? See for more info or go to to leave your feedback.


Steven Claeyssens
is the Data Services Coordinator at the National Library of the Netherlands (KB). He has an MA in Germanic Philology from Ghent University and an MA in Book Studies form Leiden University. He has worked at the KB since 2005 as Analytical Bibliographer, Information Specialist and Collection Specialist. He is finishing a PhD on Dutch publishing history.
(Presentation slides)

Lotte Wilms works in the European Projects team of the Research department of the National Library of the Netherlands. She is the KB Project Leader for Europeana Newspapers and coordinates several Digital Humanities efforts from the Research department of the KB. She has a BA in English Language and Culture and an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of Utrecht. She has worked at the KB since 2008 on various (digitisation) projects.

Clemens Neudecker, M.A., Technical Coordinator for the Research team in the Innovation and Development department of the KB.

Hugo Huurdeman,  University of Amsterdam. Researcher in the WebART project (
(Presentation slides)