Museums and the Web 2005
Demonstrations: Description
Photo Credits

See museum applications demonstrated by the people who created them.

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Web site relaunched

Peter Gorgels, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Demonstration: Demonstrations - Session 2

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam(, has launched on 19 november 2004 its completely revamped Web site. The website makes use of "moving windows" to show art objects full screen and to seduce visitors to click and go to deeper information in the website or in the collection.

Visitors are able to access the vast databases of the museum, together with the more general information that was already available. The online databases include the Adlib collection management system (, the "Aria" database with educational information and the library catalogue. An XML layer links all these various resources. The user-friendly WYSIWYG XML-editor Xopus from Q42 ( is used to manage this process.

A flexible and layered information architecture has been designed, enabling the easy rendering of dynamic presentations in pre-defined formats (See for example and open the Rijksmuseum, The Masterpieces interactive special in a new window).

The architecture consists of several layers: the objects, the selection of objects, formats structuring the selections and presentations. Types of presentations that can be rendered include printed leaflets and also formats for mobile devices such as PDAs. The formats are integrated with the "solid" objectinformation in the xml-layer and with the imageserver, it is possible to enrich objects and connect the formats that are "using" this objects. The information architecture complies with open standards such as DublinCore, OAI and XML, enabling future collaboration with other organisations.

Open Source software was used in developing the system wherever possible. The aim of the Rijksmuseum is to distribute the system to other cultural heritage institutions in an Open Source scenario. An advisory board will be set up in collaboration with the DEN organisation ( and the Mondriaan Foundation ( to define which scenario is most applicable. The Web site and Web infrastructurewere developed by designers from Fabrique ( and application developers from Q42 (