Frequently asked questions

What is the Image Bank WW2?

The Image Bank WW2 is a cooperative project of the Dutch war and resistance museums, memorial centers, and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies. The image collections of these organizations are presented in the Image Bank. The Image Bank WW2 has a public face (the website) and a management environment (CMS). Via the website, the Image Bank WW2 offers a professional selection of digitized visual material about the Kingdom of the Netherlands before, during, and for a short period after the Second World War. The Image Bank’s management environment offers the participating organizations a modern and deficient instrument for rendering their collections of historic visual material publicly accessible via the internet.

How many images are there in the Image Bank WW2?
Right now the Image Bank WW2 contains 150,000 images.

Where is the original?
Each image is accompanied by text listing the location/source of the original image.

Can I supply a correction or additional information for an image?
Yes, that is absolutely possible. It is very important to us that our collections be as complete, accurate, and detailed as possible. Next to each image you will find how to submit information. Your reactions will, after approval and editing, appear with the related image or be added to the metadata.

Will more images be added to the Image Bank WW2 in the future?
Yes. There are additional archives which house images from the War and occupation years. We aim to add as many of these as possible to the Image Bank. For additional visual material you can also consult Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen ( The participating organizations also regularly receive new visual material. As soon as the new material has been digitized, it is disclosed and added to the Image Bank WW2.

Want to participate?
Would you like to expand the visibility of your digital collection of WW2 material, and does your organization play a role in heritage? It is possible to disclose your visual material or image collection via the Image Bank WW2. Contact us.

Is it possible to add private collections to the Image Bank WW2?
Yes, that is possible. These collections are added to the collection of one or another participating organization and then shared via the Image Bank WW2. Contact us.

What are themes?
Themes are interesting images grouped around a specific subject, which have been assembled by the Image Bank WW2’s editors.

May I link to the Image Bank WW2

from my own website?
That is absolutely allowed. We appreciate it when people include a link to or to a specific part of the Image Bank on their own websites.

May I embed an image on my own website?
You may embed any image from the Image Bank WW2 on your website. To do this, use the permalink (the icon with two links, to the left of the description). Embedding is the integration of an image into one’s own website (or e-mail). The HTML code is provided by the Image Bank WW2. When you embed an image from the Image Bank WW2, you are placing that part of the Image Bank WW2 in your website without transferring the content. It is, as it were, a link. The Image Bank WW2 utilizes permanent persistent identifiers. The URL will therefor never change, which prevents inactive links.

Downloading and ordering

Can I keep or save images?
Each image has a permalink (the icon with two links, to the left of the description). You can copy this and save it on your own computer. This link will enable you to always return to the specific image and accompanying description.

Can I download images?
To the left of each image is a download icon. If you click on it, you will see clearly whether or not you may download this image. It is possible to download a scan of the image free of charge for personal use. If the rights to the image lie with a third party, specific rules and tariffs will apply. By clicking the download link, you can see who holds the rights to the image and what the terms of use are.

What do I do if the quality of the image is unsatisfactory?
Should the quality of the image appear unsatisfactory for your needs, you can request a higher-quality scan from the Image Bank WW2. After you have informed us of which image you would like and what the dimensions of the scan need to be (preferably the format in which the image will be printed). The Image Bank WW2 can process your request. The fee for the scanning of the image at a high resolution will be assessed. In this case you are paying for the scan itself, and not for the use of it. The high resolution scan is, as with the downloadable scans, for personal use only. Once we have confirmed your request we will process it. Delivery of custom reproductions takes a maximum of 14 days. It is possible to place a speed request. This brings the wait time down to a maximum of five business days. For this, an extra speed tariff is charged. Contact us.

What do I do if I cannot download an image?
If you cannot download an image, this means that the rights to it lie with a third party and the image has not been released for public use. In this case the image is copyrighted, and you must first get permission from the creator (or his or her descendants). It is possible that in this case you will need to pay a copyright fee. You will be referred through to the copyright holder and the Image Bank WW2 will have no further part in the transaction. Staff at the Image Bank WW2 can help with the referral to the copyright holder. Please contact us about it. For more information, see Image Rights.

Using the images

May I use the images any way I wish?
No, it doesn’t work that way. The images in this database are intended for personal use only. If you wish to use an image for publication, you need to contact the Image Bank WW2 first and tell us what you want to use the images for. It is possible that a copyright or usage fee will apply. The staff at the Image Bank can direct you to the rights holder or inform you of the costs. Please contact the Image Bank. For more information, see Image Rights. May I use images for my thesis or report?
Yes, that is allowed. You can download the scan immediately. Don’t forget to include the proper citation (see Image Rights). We would like to have a copy of your work for the library at the appropriate participating organization.

Searching the database

What are the possibilities? You can do a search via the search field on the homepage or via the “images” tab. Search results are sorted by relevance: the result best matching the search terms entered will appear on top. The search results can be sorted in a number of ways. Results can be filtered by use of the drop-down menus under the search field. This can limit the number of results that you see. The possibilities are:

  • Collectie (Collection); images which are part of a collection at a specific participating organization in the Image Bank WW2. You will then be searching only this collection. This is set as a standard for all of the collections,

  • Type; here you can specify which type of image you are looking for (for example, photos, posters, slides, film, photo albums, or drawings),

  • Vervaardiger (Producer); the “creator” of the image, such as the photographer, the artist, or, for example, the co-author of a poster,

  • Personen (People); the people who appear in the images,

  • Trefwoorden (Keywords); terms which have been added to the image, sourced from the “WW2 Thesaurus”,

  • Periode (Period); the time or era during which the image was made (this can be a date or even a text, for example; 10-05-1940, May 1945, or “Hunger Winter”),

  • Locatie (Location); the geographic location.

In the fields Key Words, People, Location, and Collection you can make use of the lists of choices. These lists use the correct spelling and thus help ensure that you find all of the images you want to with your search terms. Of course you can also type in your own search parameters. A search can be limited or expanded with the optional operators between search terms. The most common operators are AND, OR.

  • AND; searches with words separated by the operator AND are interpreted as meaning that all of the search terms must be present regarding the image(s) retrieved. For example, “Hitler” AND “Mussolini” retrieves images of Mussolini and Hitler in Berlin, “Liberation” AND “children” reveals visual material of children during the days of the liberation.

  • OR; searches containing words separated by OR are interpreted as meaning that one or more of the search terms must match the image.
    For example, “War” OR “Oorlog” OR “Krieg” returns results in which the word “war” appears ion three languages (English, Dutch, and German).

The special characters “?” (question mark) and ”*” (asterisk) can be used to replace one or more characters in a word.

To replace one or more characters, you can use an *. This is how to search for results which begin or end with the part of the word which you have entered: Searching for “ja*”will return, for example, “Jalta”, Java”, and “Japan”. Searching for “*wart” will return, for example, “Waffenwart” and “Bordwart”. Searching for “stat* AND *don” will find every “station in London”, including “Wimbledon station”.

To replace a single character, use a ? character. Searching for “Fl?g” will find “Flug” and “Flag”, but not “Flieg”. Searching for “explosi??” will find “explosief” and “explosive” but not “explosieven”. I did not find my question in the FAQ Send your question to the Image Bank WW2. Contact us.