Access & re-use Research


2019 - 2021

Archive content in the reading room

One of meemoo’s core tasks is to work together with our content partners to make archive content accessible. That’s why we’re now investigating how partners can provide visitors with secure access to their content in the meemoo archive system.


Our content partners are a diverse group of cultural, media and government organisations. They organise various public activities but don’t all have a reading room, which is why we’re discussing the possibility of making archive content accessible internally rather than simply ‘in the reading room’. One of the challenges we face is providing this access in a user-friendly way, taking various needs and expectations for the tool into account.

Our role

Some partners already had their own systems for providing access to content. But other partners didn't have a tool, or would have liked more helpful features than they had available at the moment, which is why we’re launching a tool that they can use to make content available to their visitors.


We prepared for this project in 2019 by holding a session at our partner event, which 12 content partners took part in, and with an extensive survey of our partners. The survey was sent out in December 2019 and ran until the end of February: 28 content partners completed it, with respondents mainly coming from archives and museums, although five performing arts organisations, a cultural heritage body, a heritage library and a public broadcaster also took part – meaning the entire breadth of our content partners is represented.

We mainly asked about:

  • the presence of a reading room and existing facilities;

  • potential users of the intra-murostool;

  • the possible usage of the reading room tool compared to the other meemoo systems and platforms, in particular the meemoo archive system, and Catalogus Pro;

  • desired functionalities: what are the content partners’ needs and expectations from this tool?

  • access rights: is there a preference for a login or not, for example?

How it currently works

Around half the respondents indicated that they cannot yet provide access to their digital collections in house. This means that the audiovisual content stored in the meemoo archive system also couldn't be made accessible yet. The majority of these partners wanted this to be different in future. Content partners that had a reading room and provided access to their digital collections at the time did so in a range of different ways: via their website, internal catalogues, the meemoo archive system, Vimeo, preparing content on the desktop or via a reading room PC.

Where our content partners want to go

For the question: ‘Who would use this intra-murostool in your organisation?’ we can make a distinction between internal and external users.

  • The usual external groups such as scientific researchers, students, private individuals and fellow institutions score highly.

  • There’s also high demand for internal usage. Most people think mainly of internal staff who don’t have access to collections, such as public and research employees.

When asked about the most important functionalities, the answer is clear: user-friendliness and a good search function are crucial. Only two respondents say that it’s not important for them to display all their archive content, e.g. the digital photographic content that’s stored by meemoo.

Respondents also want to be able to perform analyses on data relating to the intra-murostool usage, such as number of users, popular search terms and most consulted content.

Graph 2: Desired functionalities of the reading room tool.

Half the respondents said the intra-murostool must allow internal staff to download low-resolution content. Downloads for reading room visitors appeared to be less of a priority, although opinion is divided here.

Access to the tool outside of the reading room was very important for some respondents, but not at all for others. Being able to select favourites and highlight collections are obvious nice-to-haves. Using the tool to create clips is not a priority at all.

Graph 3: Desired applications of the reading room tool.

The above graph clearly shows that the most important reason for offering the intra-murostool is to allow reading room visitors to search archive content themselves when they have a specific query.

We went to work with the results from the survey. A working group was established, comprised of content partners that expressed their interest in the process at the partner event and in the survey. The tool development is scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2022.

Do you have any questions about the intra-murostool? Tine will be happy to answer them.

Do you have a question?
Contact Tine Philips
Functional Analyst
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