Army Museum collection in the semantic web

The ‘Allied Collections’ project

In 2010 the Army Museum launched a project that aimed to offer end users an attractive way to access and search various integrated electronic collections. Until recently, only a small portion of this digitised material was available online. It was also not very easy to visualise the links between the various collections. The Allied Collections project changes this by collating data that is relevant to findability in an online findability layer. This online findability layer will soon be online.

The Army Museum is currently designing this website to host the ‘Allied Collections’, which also includes new technologies such as social media, where users collaborate via the internet. Visitors can tag objects with information or add comments and can also collect and save favourite objects together. At this point in time, the website still only contains the Army Museum’s collection, but this should change in the future.

The project “Allied Collections” of the Dutch Army museum brings together and opens up nine collections:

  • The so-called Hoefer (the first director of the Army Museum in 1913) catalogue with approximately 11,000 cards with entries, descriptions, and often also depictions of military terms from the beginning of the previous century.
  • The 1861 Landolt military dictionary with approximately 3,600 entries and descriptions.
  • The Glossarium Armorum, an illustrated thesaurus with approximately 700 terms and depictions of armour (defensive weapons) in several languages.
  • Articles from the Army Museum’s Armamentaria year book about various military-historical subjects and the museum’s collection.
  • The famous ‘Visser collection’ of 175 historical hand-guns.
  • A thesaurus on uniforms with links to parts of the collection with more than 900 entries and scope notes.
  • 9,000 prints of uniforms of various armed services with descriptions from the collection of books on uniforms from the museum’s military history library.
  • A thesaurus of the Dutch armed services.
  • Military vehicles with 90 descriptions and depictions.
  • Official orders before 1940, approximately 1,200.

This electronic goldmine of resources which can provide online visitors with a complete overview of Dutch military history.

If you have questions about this project, please contact Annet Ruseler, Head of Collection Information, Army Museum, Delft, the Netherlands (a.ruseler@legermuseum.nl).