NIOD, World War II Photo Archive

WW II Photo Archive / NIOD Beeldbank WO2

Photo: Alphons Hustinx/NIOD

The Netherlands Institute of War Documentation (NIOD) was established shortly after liberation on 8 May 1945. The NIOD is the most important resource for anyone interested in discovering more about the Netherlands (including the Dutch Indies) during the Second World War, or carrying out research in this area. The NIOD brought together numerous archives related to the German occupation of the Netherlands, and the Japanese occupation in the Dutch Indies, including illegal newspapers and pamphlets, posters, photographs, books and articles.

Unique collection

Prints and negatives deteriorate over time. To preserve the unique contents of their collection, the NIOD decided to digitize its most important images. Impressed by FRS, they asked BSL to create a custom image database. We created their WW II Image Bank using FRS modules and Oracle™, with custom interfaces developed to manage their unique collection. This included multilingual descriptions and attributes, and a public web site where selected images were published and made available for research, and commercial use.

Shared online WW II Image Bank

The success of the NIOD WW II Image Bank encouraged over 30 other institutes to participate in the creation of a joint database. As well as the NIOD, numerous other world-famous organizations – including the Anne Frank foundation and the Resistance Museum of Amsterdam – now share the Image Bank, maintaining and publishing their own collections as part of a new online (multilingual) resource: the World War II Image Bank. This vast wealth of material – including much previously unpublished material – was made available online when the web site was launched by HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands in 2008. The World War II Image Bank was developed within the framework of the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and SportsWartime Heritage’ programme.

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