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Creating a digital repository for sources on European colonial architecture and town planning (c.1850-1970)


In collaboration with three national partners, TU Delft Library and the Chair of History of the university’s Faculty of Architecture, develop an open access, multilingual digital repository for sources about colonial architecture and town planning (c.1850 and c.1970) in former European colonies. 

Bron: Station Square in Batavia, Dutch East Indies (1930s) (now: Stasiun-Pintu in Besar Utara in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia) 

The motivation behind this project is the recognition that although colonial (built) heritage since the 1980s has become a research topic of increasing importance, studies about the development and significance of earlier twentieth-century colonial architecture and planning in an (inter)national context remains under-researched; caused, in the main, by restricted access to relevant sources. To eliminate these geographic, economic, and language barriers, the project aims to create a repository that provides open access to a comprehensive on-line resource offering digitised texts, still and moving images, maps, and archives. 

By providing researchers, policy makers and a lay audience access to primary and secondary sources on European colonial built heritage, the digital research environment will facilitate and enhance policymaking and promote international and comparative research, whilst simultaneously generating and encouraging the discussion about the significance, management, and the use of this under-utilised aspect of Europe’s built heritage.


The repository is built with Fedora Commons repository software. Within the repository a linked-data approach has been used: all images, documents, buildings, architects, subject concepts and geographical concepts are stored and linked as separate objects. The subject concepts (Getty AAT) and geographical concepts (GeoNames) are added to the repository through external web services once they have been linked. As Islandora software automatically creates a zoomable image and a thumbnail image that can be used in the website when an image is added to the repository, Islandora is used to create upload forms and to manage the upload process. 


As the repository expressly aims at becoming a truly international project, it is of the essence that from the start non-Dutch specialists and institutes in a variety of fields (IT, research, funding) are aware of and involved in the development of the repository. In order to discuss expectations, potentials, demands and limits of the repository the project’s, TU Delft organises two international workshops in Delft (November 2012, November 2013). Additionally, meetings with potential European partners and experts are planned for the first half of 2013. The main objective of these meetings is to introduce the project, to discuss similar project(s) of the non-Dutch counterpart(s) and lay the foundation for future collaboration. 

Bron: Royal Atheneum in Elisabethville, Belgian Congo (now: Lycée Tuendele in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo). Architects René Schoentjes & Albert Van Grunderbeek (1944-1954). © Foto Johan Lagae, Ghent, Belgium (2005).

 Bron: Villa Isola in Bandung, Dutch East Indies (1930s). © Laurens Vis, Den Haag, The Netherlands. 

European colonial architecture and town planning

  • Digitaliseringsproject
  • Educatief project
  • Beeldbank
  • Vernieuwing Digitale Dienstverlening
  • Onderzoeksproject

september 2011 - september 2014

In uitvoering


Ja, maar niet gepubliceerd

Pauline K.M. van Roosmalen, p.k.m.vanroosmalen[at]


Betrokken instellingen uit het overzicht van DEN
Technische Universiteit Delft (projectleider)
Het Nieuwe Instituut (voorheen NAI, Premsela en Virtueel Platform) (projectpartner)
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (projectpartner)
Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal, Land en Volkenkunde (projectpartner)


Opbouw budget
  • eigen middelen
  • externe financiering (publiek)

Fondsen of subsidiegevers

Toelichting fondsen of subsidiegevers
Een deel van de financiering is ook afkomstig van Dutch Centre for International Cultural Activities (previous: Stichting Internationale Culturele Activiteiten).

Toelichting vervolgfinanciering
Na afloop wordt het project onderdeel van de lijn.


  • Het gebruik van Semantische Web technieken (Web3.0)
  • Informatiedienst voor het publiek
  • Infrastructurele voorziening
  • Pilot of demonstrator
  • Overig
  • Onderwijsmethode of lesmateriaal

  • Breed publiek
  • Amateuronderzoekers
  • Vakgenoten
  • Wetenschap
  • Beleidsmakers

  • Foto's
  • Boeken
  • Cartografisch materiaal
  • Drukwerk overig

De selectie wordt gedaan op basis van de volgende criteria:
Thema: architecture and town planning
Locatie: former European colonies
Periode: c.1850-1970

  • Archieven
  • Bibliotheken
  • Monumentenzorg
  • Cultuurtoerisme

Onderwerpen / vakgebieden
European colonial architecture and planning between c.1850 and 1970.

Disclaimer en rechtenregeling
Creative Commons

Beschikbaarheid van de data
De data is ook in andere diensten van de projectpartners beschikbaar


Uitvoering digitalisering
  • intern
  • uitbesteed
  • uitbesteed

  • Tekst
  • Beeld

Digitale duurzaamheid
Voor de duurzaamheid van de data wordt het instellingsbeleid gevolgd

Gekoppelde standaarden

Disclaimer en klachtenregeling
Creative Commons
Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Thesaurus of Geographical Names


Laatst gewijzigd: 19-03-2013

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