This afternoon the Amsterdams Historisch Museum has become one of the first Dutch museum to offer its entire collection online: collectie.ahm.nl. In a festive gathering in the museum, Marco de Niet, director of Digitaal Erfgoed Nederland (The Dutch organization which monitors and advises in the area of digitization of cultural heritage) pushed the button, with which the whole collection is now digitally available to all. The online catalogue offers an abundance of information, in most cases accompanied by images which are available to use for non-commercial purposes. As an extra feature, it is possible to add comments to every item.
The interface of the online catalogue is available in English as well. Most of the texts though are in Dutch. Nonetheless the online catalogue of the Amsterdams Historisch Museum makes an excellent research tool and a very interesting means to discover the history of the city. Additionally, the museum has started a blog (in Dutch) which throws light on severals aspects of the collection on a daily basis: blog.ahm.nl
Since 1926, the Amsterdams Historisch Museum has housed the art and artefacts owned by the city of Amsterdam. This collection has been growing from the 16th century onwards. During the course of the centuries many other object have been added to the collection such as militia pieces and regent portraits from other city institutions, silverware from the Amsterdam guilds and the statues of David and Goliath. In the 19th century, several Amsterdam citizens donated their art collections to the city. Museum Willet Holthuysen is a good example of such a bequest.