In the Netherlands there are more than 500 archives, libraries, museums and other heritage organizations that have collections on the Second World War. Even 76 years after, there is still a huge public interest for WWII. In particular the local and personal histories. While eye witnesses become fewer and fewer, the audience increasingly expects information online: fitted to their needs and reliable.
Oorlogsbronnen.nl presents thematic digital heritage in a unique way. The website is the starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about the Second World War in the Netherlands. It makes it possible for everyone to find information about WWII in relation to their geographic environment, family or personal interest. It provides one entry point to more than 11 million war sources from the collections of approximately 250 museums, archives, memorial centers and libraries.
Semantic web technologies are used to automatically link and enrich all metadata that are harvested from local collection registration systems. This extra layer allows to provide end-users with intelligent references to related places, events, persons, organizations and concepts. A linked open data thesaurus is used to help the computer to make these cross-references.
Oorlogsbronnen.nl is a portal of Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen (Dutch Network of War Collections): a network of archives, museums, libraries and other heritage institutions that manage collections from the Second World War. The creation of the infrastructure for sources and context information, and the construction of the network itself, started in the summer of 2016 led by a small program team. This release of Oorlogsbronnen.nl, in October 2020, was a big shift from a B2B to a B2C-website.