Groningen op een 17e-eeuwse kaart van Sebastian Munster

Groningen on a 17th century map by Sebastian Munster

This project began with a pilot study (April-October 2010), with the aim of formulating a protocol for digitizing various groups of material and making them available online, namely books and journals, and Greek papyri. These were chosen because it is expected that the majority of material that will be digitized will consist of texts and images. This instructive pilot study was completed successfully. The two collections can be found at Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis (Brinkman Catalogi and Nieuwsblad voor den Boekhandel) and Papyri Groninganae.

A great deal of work preceded the online publication of the collections:

  • Preparatory work
    Advance planning and discussion is an important part of any project. In this case, agreements were made about all manner of aspects relating to the collection to be digitized. For this purpose we designed a form for recording essential data.
  • Scanning
    During the pilot study we gained experience with scanning. We had Mens en Maatschappij (1925-2000) (the first journal for the ‘Diginedsoc’ project for the digitization of Dutch sociology journals) scanned at the Groningen Archives. Unfortunately, the Groningen Archives were unable to meet our requirements. We then requested a scan by GMS in Alblasserdam, who also put a collection of letters on microfilm for the Hemsterhuis Collection. Although the final result is good, we are less satisfied with other aspects of the work, so this choice may also need to be reviewed. The Groningen Archives scanned our collection of letters by Petrus Camper, and we are very satisfied with the result.
  • Metadata input
    Diginedsoc involves a great deal of work, particularly on the metadata side (entering journal articles in RefWorks databases) Although many staff are working on this, the contribution is not sufficiently structured – a disadvantage of a project-based approach.
    At the end of April 2011, CONTENTdm 6.0 was released. This coincided with Pieter van de Veen’s internship at the Library in May and June. Pieter made good progress uploading the other collections in 6.0. We hope that we can continue to request his assistance in the future. In the run-up to the publication of the papyri, there was close consultation with Prof. K.A. Worp, Emeritus Professor of Papyrology at Leiden. He gave his learned views on our papyri, and has brought international renown for the site. The site went live on 1 October 2012 [2011?].

The following collections have been published:

(part of/on the initiative of: University History = UH / Special Collections = SC / Faculties = FA)

  • Brinkman catalogues 1936-1950 (FA)
  • Nieuwsblad voor den Boekhandel [Newssheet for the Book Trade] 1940-1945 (FA)
  • Fragments from a Music Manuscript (flyleaves Inc. 70) (SC)
  • Letters of François Hemsterhuis (under development, will be part of the Hemsterhuis Collection)
  • Papyri Groninganae (FA)
  • Letters of Petrus Camper (under development, will be part of the Petrus Camper Collectie) (SC)
  • Frans van Schooten Manuscripts (under development) (SC).

Financial overview (2011-2014)


  • Grant: € 250K
  • Match funding by Library: € 50K
  • Total: € 300K


  • Personnel costs: € 175K
  • CONTENTdm € 40K
  • Scans/photos/server € 85K
  • Total: € 300K

Alie Bijker