Twenty years ago today, the KB National Library of the Netherlands launched its e-Depot. The creation of this digital archive was big news in 2002. The KB was the first organisation in the Netherlands to start preserving material that was originally published in digital form. Today, the e-Depot contains more than 40 million publications.

What do we store in the e-Depot?

In the e-Depot, we store all the digital publications we have in our collection. This includes books, newspapers, magazines and websites. The collection ranges from children’s books to academic publications. Our digital archive now contains over 40 million publications, with thousands added every day.

Why do we have an e-Depot?

The KB wants to preserve everything that is published in or about the Netherlands. We also want to ensure that as many people as possible can access these publications, now and in the future. All publications we have digitised or receive digitally are stored in the e-Depot. This ensures that these publications will remain safe for the future. A team of about 30 people is dedicated to making this happen.


When we started the e-Depot 20 years ago, it was big news. No one else in the Netherlands was storing material originally published in digital form on this scale. This includes books and magazines of which no paper copies were made. We even made the news with it (in Dutch only):


The next 20 years

Books, newspapers and magazines have long since ceased to be published only on paper. E-books are here to stay. Social media are becoming more and more important. New file formats are constantly being added and others are falling out of use. These are big challenges for the team behind the e-Depot. We make sure that we have the right technology available, as well as people with the right expertise who can take proper care of the material. In this way, we hope to keep our digital collection accessible for future generations.


Want to know more?

Would you like to know more about the e-Depot? Read the interview with our head of digital preservation Jeffrey van der Hoeven and our metadata specialist for digital preservation Susanne van den Eijkel.