Stitch by Stitch: Annotating Fashion at the Rijksmuseum

Fashion can be found everywhere in museums. Fashion heritage collected over centuries: costumes, accessories, paintings, prints and photographs. But while some clothes and accessories are easily found and identified, others are obscure and require a trained eye to describe. What are we looking at? What kind of sleeve is this? Which materials and techniques have been used? More specific descriptions of the images facilitate better use of digital collections and enable users to wander through them in detail.

Modemuze is an online platform and network of 11 Dutch museums, including Rijksmuseum, with a fashion and costume collection: Amsterdam Museum, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Fries Museum Leeuwarden, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Museum Rotterdam, Paleis Het Loo, Rijksmuseum, Tassenmuseum Hendrikje, TextielMuseum, Theatercollectie Bijzondere Collecties UvA, Tropenmuseum, Afrika Museum, Museum Volkenkunde.

Annotating the collections

Researchers from VU University Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and the Centre for Mathematics and Informatics and the Rijksmuseum (in the context of the COMMIT SealincMedia project) have developed Accurator: an online tool to improve the process of annotation of digital collection objects, e.g. being able to find relevant objects to annotate, annotate specific parts of an object, etc. Following ‘Birdwatching in the Rijksmuseum’, this time the Accurator tool will be used to describe fashion related objects from the Modemuze and Rijksmuseum collections.

Participants in the fashion annotation event are also invited to record their findings in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Commons and in Wikidata, Wikipedia’s open database. Wikipedia volunteers, as well as staff from the Rijksmuseum and Modemuze, will be present for support throughout the day.

Participation in the event is free, but registration is required. To register, please send an email to accurator@rijksmuseum.nl with your name and your interest in fashion. (We will take your subject preferences into account when setting up the Accurator tool.) If you have any questions regarding the event, please feel free to email them to this address.

Additional information

About Lora Aroyo

I am is full professor in Computer Science, head of the Web and Media Group, Department of Computer Science, VU University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I am also a scientific coordinator of the EU Integrated Project: NoTube: Integration of Web and TV Data with the Help of Semantics, http://notube.tv Go to my web page for more details: http://lora-aroyo.org
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