Collection Catalogue

An article from the online collection catalogue

The collection catalogue contains scientific data on all the works held by the museum.

It is an inventory in which museum staff register, describe and document all the paintings, sculptures and graphic works that make up the collection. To guarantee data uniformity, the catalogue is compiled in accordance with international conventions. First and foremost, the inventory provides art-historical information about each object, ranging from artist and item identification to a description of the origin and provenance of the piece. It also details the exhibitions in which pieces have featured as well as any relevant publications. This data is constantly checked and updated on the basis of archival research and the literature. The inventory moreover describes the material characteristics of the object, including its dimensions, and provides information on loans as well as any conservation or restoration treatments undergone.

Digital Database

Collection digitalisation is one of the great challenges facing museums who wish to enhance the accessibility of their collections, for the benefit of the public as well as the international museological and scientific communities. In 2001, KMSKA took its first steps into the digital era with the introduction of a collection inventory operated through state-of-the-art software. The data are processed in accordance with international guidelines and standardised terminology, such as those provided by ICONCLASS. The online collection catalogue (in Dutch) has been accessible via the KMSKA website since 2010. It draws information from the internal database of the museum. The number of objects included continues to grow. The database also provides information to Vlaamse Kunstcollectie and digital museums such as that devoted to James Ensor . Improving the accessibility of the collection catalogue via the Internet is an absolute priority to the Collection Research Department.

Printed Catalogues

Using the digital database as a source, work was begun in 2010 on a new printed collection catalogue of all painted items in the museum collection. With this new publication, the museum intends to continue a long tradition of collection catalogues. Since the appearance of the previous painting catalogues (1977 and 1988), not only have strides been made in research, but the collection has also grown substantially. Conceived as a practical and up-to-date reference book providing a comprehensive overview of the extensive collections of paintings, the new catalogue will meet the requirements of scholars as well as visitors to the museum. Finally, the database provides a starting point for the compilation of subcatalogues as well as analogous and digital collection presentations.


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