About us


The KB Lab was founded in 2014 within the Research department of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands. Here, we showcase the tools that are built for and by users of our digital collections. Next to this, datasets that are derived from research projects or are experimental representations of Delpher collections are made public.


With this service, we wish to offer better access to our digital collections and promote the use of the digitised content. 

We're open, we experiment, we connect. We learn.


We're open, or at least as open as possible. We blog what we do and how we do it. Our tools are published under open licenses and we also ask this of the people we work with. Our data is open where it can be. If copyright doesn't permit this, we look for other solutions. Scientific use is mostly permitted due to agreements made with the right's holders.  We're also open to new ideas and projects and are happy to think along if you want to set up something or apply for funding.


We experiment. We try out new techniques and tinker with tools to make our content as accessible as we can. Warning, that means stuff can be broken! Do contact us and let us know if you find something that doesn't look quite right.


We connect. Not only our collections to yours, but also people. Work shouldn't be done twice and if we can connect you with someone who's working on something similar as you are, we're always happy to help. We also connect ourselves to you by providing opportunities such as our KB Researcher-in-residence program. 


We learn. Together with you, we learn about what it takes to do research with our collections, we learn about the tools that work best on our collections and also which tools are still needed. We also learn about what we as a library should have to be a research partner for you. And we learn how we can provide access to what we have and how to share it with you. 

KB Lab history

We regularly get requests of colleagues asking how we set up our Lab within the KB. We're always happy to share this and meet up with people who are doing similar things as we are, as sharing thoughts and ideas only enriches our work-lives.

However, not everyone has the opportunity to travel to the KB and we therefore thought we embrace one of our values (Open) some more by sharing some documents we used while setting up this Lab and the programmes behind it.


In these documents you can find information about why we do what we do, how we thought it might work and if you want to know if it actually works like that, don't hesitate to ask!