The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands. Through its collection of 1 million objects it tells the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history. As of the end of 2012, the collection was made digitally available too - in high resolution on the museum's website, freely available, without limitations. The primary task of the Rijksmuseum is to engage, inspire and inform the public as widely as possible. Thanks to digitization and opening up access to more than 500,000 objects in its collection (online) on the collection website Rijksstudio, the collection is now available to anyone, anywhere in the world.
The Rijksmuseum took this initiative in the firm belief that its collection belongs to the public, with the museum as its custodian. By opening up its collection digitally, the museum improves its accessibility and is able to attract new audiences - wherever they are, 24/7. Not restricted by opening hours any more. Apart from reaching new audiences and enhancing its brand awareness, the Rijksmuseum invites the public to make their own masterpieces for the international design competition Rijksstudio Award.
By means of Rijksstudio, the museum gives users and artists access to, and over two hundred thousand high-quality digital representations of masterworks from the collection free of charge. Users can zoom in to any work and even clip small parts of images they like. Rijksstudio is a bit like Pinterest. You can “like” works and compile your personal favorites, and you can share them with friends or download them free of charge and add information to the images. All the images in Rijksstudio are copyright and royalty free (offered at up to 300 dpi), and users are encouraged to use them as they like, for private or even commercial purposes. The public is invited to work with it, attaching personal meaning to the works. And an API is offered for programmers and researchers to make certain transformations to the collection data (code can be found at ttps://github.com/Rijksmuseum, more info about the api:
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/api & https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/api/rijksmuseum-oai-api-instructions-for-use).
Rijksmuseum images are now used in thousands of wikipedia articles, receiving ten to eleven million views per month extending reach far beyond the scope of their own website. After 5 years, more that 5 million free images have been downloades and more than 380,000 users have created their own Rijksstudio set.
Rijksmuseum partnered with the DIY marketplace Etsy to inspire people to sell their creations. In 2014 the Rijksmuseum organized its 1st design competition, Rijksstudio Award. See for an interview by Creative Commons, offering more background to the Rijksstudio (p.117): https://creativecommons.org/use-remix/made-with-cc/
Rijksstudio is an important facility and tool, provided by the Rijksmuseum to open up cultural heritage to the public and giving back to the public. The list of initiatives below show how the Rijksmuseum expanded its open approach to increase its mission to share cultural heritage with different layers of society:
• Multimediatour – www.rijksmuseum.nl/multimediatour ( can also be seen through youtube), like the familiy game mentioned below. (Since 25 January the multimediatour has become part of a new Rijksmuseum app. the tour content stays the same
• Family game https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkY0gB5zS0A
• New app with automatic indoor way finding to improve accessibility, including multi media tours, Rijksstudio and ticket service.
• Digital zoomer in ‘Schooltas’ (a publishers tool, developed in cooperation with publisher ThiemeMeulenhoff) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=5f5p5I7uT48
• SnapGuide, a mobile museum guide for children https://www.facebook.com/brightvibes/videos/715947348591907/ www.rijksmuseum.nl/snapguide
• Online video’s in ‘SchoolTV’, an online platform for primary schools https://schooltv.nl/programma/topstukken-van-het-rijksmuseum/
• Rondleiden is een vak https://www.rijksmuseumshop.nl/en/rondleiden-is-een-vak https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/nu-in-het-museum/symposia/museum-guides-now(2-day symposium, publication is available at http://lkca.nl/artikelen/rondleideniseenvak)
At the moment we are developing a module for an online Course for University of GlasGow on the use of text in a museum Museum texts will always remain a much-discussed subject in the world of museums and we want to share our knowledge with as many people as possible
And apart from being a new member of Art Tube we will continue to develop new digital tools and ways to give as many people as possible acces to our collections.
The online initiatives, which arose from the renovation of the physical building, illustrate a growth in approaches to share cultural heritage and engage with many layers of society.
These illustrate how the Rijksmuseum embraces present day possibilities to share heritage with the people. Therefor we believe the Rijksmuseum deserves international acknowledgement for its initiatives in opening up access to its collection and promoting free and open access to cultural heritage collections.