Birdwatching Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum – Naturalis Biodiversity Center – Wikimedia Nederland & COMMIT SealincMedia present a unique birdwatching event

Birds are everywhere. In your own garden, in nature, and also in art. Among the Rijksmuseum’s 1,2 million collection objects are many prints, paintings and artefacts that have bird species depicted on them. Among the 37 million objects in the Naturalis collection are many birds from all over the world that have been collected in the last 200 years, as well as historical drawings of plants and animals in which many birds are depicted.

Wikimedia Commons

Some of the depicted birds are easily identified. Others require a trained eye to determine which species the artist has pictured. The Rijksmuseum and Naturalis are looking for experienced bird watchers and other avian enthusiasts to join an expedition through their digital collections and help the museums identify bird species in works of art.

The Rijksmuseum and Naturalis are currently in the process of donating large parts of their digitized collections of bird images to Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia’s open multimedia library. Participants of the birdwatching day are challenged to collaboratively identify as many bird species depicted on these images as possible and record these in Wikimedia Commons and in Wikidata, Wikipedia’s open database.


For this purpose COMMIT SealincMedia, a consortium of Dutch researchers from the VU University Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology and the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (centre for mathematics and informatics), has developed a dedicated online tool for the Rijksmuseum. With this tool, called Accurator, common and scientific names of species depicted in artworks can be recorded in an intuitive way. Participants of the birdwatching day will use this tool to tag bird species. Wikipedia volunteers as well as curators from the Rijksmuseum and Naturalis will be present for support throughout the day.

During the birdwatching day the Rijksmuseum, Naturalis, Wikimedia Netherlands (the organization behind the Dutch version of Wikipedia) and the COMMIT/SealincMedia researchers want to learn how we can best collect your knowledge as a bird enthusiast and apply it to enrich our art collections. We also hope to learn how we can make Accurator more user-friendly.

Can’t wait? Here’s a preview of birds in the Rijksmuseum!
You can start adding information using Accurator here:


10.00 Start
10.10 Introduction and presentation Erik Hinterding, birdwatcher and curator Rijksmuseum
10.30 Presentation Steven van der Mije, head Vertebrate collections Naturalis
10.50 Introduction editing Wikipedia
11.15 Introduction Accurator
11.30 Start edit-a-thin
13.30 Wrap-up by Erik Hinterding
14.00 End

14.30 Tour (optional, registration required)


Participation is free but due to the limited number of available places registration is required and can be done via For questions, mail us at


The event will take place in the Cuypers Library of the Rijksmuseum. The following guidelines need to be taken into account:

1. No food, drinks or smoking allowed.
2. Due to the limited number of available places registration in advance is required. On the 4th of October you can report at the desk in the Atrium. Please bring your confirmation of registration. Without this, entry can be denied.
3. If possible, bring your own laptop but there are very strict safety guidelines in the Library. Therefore it is not possible to use your own power supply or adaptor unless your device is not older than a year (please bring proof of purchase). Make sure the battery is fully loaded.

Source: SEALINCMedia

Posted in Events, Projects, SEALINCMedia

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