Centre for Art Historical Documentation

The Centre for Art Historical Documentation (CKD) maintains a large collection of visual materials, conducts image research and supplies images. The CKD archives have been built up over a period of more than 50 years and subsequently contribute to art historical education.


The CKD provides advice in the domain where art history and automation intersect. We have experience in the following areas:

  • Collection management, preservation and archiving
  • Art historical research
  • Providing advice on terminology and thesauri
  • Information analysis
  • Database design and development
  • The design of user manuals
  • The assessment of existing information systems

Potential users

Publishers can contact us if they have a general or specific question about the imagery in a particular work of art or the imagery from a specific artist. Our expertise really comes to the fore when a request for images (which is often vague) is converted into specific images.

When it comes to museums, we carry out laborious image research before an exhibition is held or a museum catalogue is published and we also conduct this type of research for the purpose of exhibitions, museum catalogues and the like.

Online databases

The CKD specialises in art historical databases. Certain collections, such as Hans Sibbelee’s photo collection, have already been digitised. We also specialise in research databases for late medieval images, such as Kunera and Stalla.

These images can either be supplied in a digital format (high- or low-resolution scan, on a CD-ROM or via email) or in an analogue format (Ektachrome, photo).

Below is an overview of our online databases:

  • Kunera is a database of late medieval insignia and ampoules
  • Stalla is a database of medieval choir stalls
  • Sibbelee is a database of digitised photos from photographer Hans Sibbelee (1915–2003)
  • Porthis is a database that is dedicated to the Portrait Historié
  • Portrait Gallery (Dutch only) is a database that contains almost 14,000 portraits, which have been extracted from our image collection, and scanned and added to the database
  • Faun (Dutch only) is a database that contains a collection of slides from the Art History and Archaeology study programmes, which were used for research and education
Fragment of Donne Triptych by Hans Memling


The Centre for Art Historical Documentation (CKD) maintains a large group of interesting and unique collections.

In addition to the digital collections, we maintain the following collections:

  • The General Art History and Archaeology Collection is a photo archive that comprises around 800,000 photos and reproductions of works of art. The microfiche collection is quite extensive, and includes around 1.5 million images of European art and architecture.
  • The Print Collection contains around 3,000 graphics, including works by well-known seventeenth-century engravers.
  • The Van der Krogt Collection contains more than 300,000 images of visual art with a focus on religious art.
  • The Gerlach Collection consists of more than 80 boxes, and includes numerous images, pictures, prayer books and articles about saints and other Christian themes.
  • The Pferschy Collection contains hundreds of photos of Turkish churches, monuments and landscapes, which were taken by the Austrian photographer Othmar Pferschy (1898–1984).


The collections and databases of the Center for Art Historical Documentation are available to all researchers and institutions. The CKD charges costs for retrieving images and may also collect copyrights.

Questions? Contact us via:

+31 24 361 26 23