Summing up the Collections
The unique collection of the RKD is made up of five components, namely, Visual Documentation, Technical Documentation, Press Documentation, Archivalia, and Library.
The Visual Documentation Collection of the RKD is the largest collection of art-historical visual material in the world and contains more than six million photographs, reproductions, and slides of paintings, drawings, sculpture, graphic arts, and design. In addition the RKD owns microfiche copies of documentary material found at important sister institutions such as The Witt Library London and the Bildarchiv Foto Marburg. Each year the Visual Documentation Collection is expanded by more than 50,000 images.
The Technical Documentation Collection contains the results of various research techniques which can be applied to paintings, such as infrared reflectography, X-radiography, paint sample analysis etc., as well as an extensive documentation on the conservation of works of art. Several individual researchers, institutions and private restorers have placed their material at the RKD's disposal.
The Press Documentation Collection contains more than two million newspaper clippings and small printed items concerning just about everything that happens or has happened within the art world. Each year the Press Documentation Collection is expanded by more than 50,000 items.
The Archivalia Collection comprises about a thousand metres of archival material concerning artists (and their societies), art historians, art critics, art dealers, art collectors, art restorers, and others who have in some way been active in the visual art and design.
The Library of the RKD is the largest art-historical library in the Netherlands, with about 450,000 volumes, ranging from monographs, early editions and rare books to general literature about art. The collection of some 150,000 auction catalogues is among the most important in the world. Each year the library is expanded by about 5,000 titles.