January 25, 2022

Comprehensive Van Gogh Database with Linked Data Launched by Dutch Museums

From Art News:

A new database called Van Gogh Worldwide allows users to access provenances, technical information, archival materials, and more related to 1,000 works on paper and paintings by the famed Post-Impressionist. Launched on Thursday, the database is a collaboration between the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the RKD–Netherlands Institute for Art History, along with the Cultural Heritage Laboratory of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands.

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More From the Van Gogh Museum:

The links to Van Gogh’s letters are a special feature, providing insight into how Van Gogh described particular works himself. The technical information includes additional images of a work (for example, of the verso and raking light) as well as references to research reports. Each image can be examined close-up. Within the website it is easy to search for a specific work, using either Dutch or English keywords, or by entering the catalogue raisonné number. Search results can furthermore be filtered by categories, including subject, material and date of creation.

The platform strives for objectivity: it provides all published scholarly research results about the artworks. In the second phase, which is due to begin in 2021, data for works located in foreign collections will also be added to the platform. A total of about 2000 works by Van Gogh are currently known.


Van Gogh Worldwide complies with the principles and vision of the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (Netwerk Digitaal Erfgoed) and the Digital Heritage Reference Architecture (DERA). This means that information from different source systems is published as linked data, and inter-linked by means of thesauri. In this way the information is reliable and always up to date. Van Gogh Worldwide is moreover the first platform within the museum and cultural sector to publish data according to the Linked Art data model.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.