Dutch Archives that provide Free Scanning on Demand

In the Netherlands, archives provide their already digitized records available online for free. But several archives go a step further, and also allow you to request documents to be scanned free of charge.

These archives have allocated budget for digitizing their collection. Part of this budget is used for larger projects, and another part is used for scanning-on-demand where the users determine the order in which the records get digitized. The resulting scans are attached to the finding aids and are then available for everyone, including the person who requested the scans.

List of archives that have free scanning on demand

The following archives use Archieven.nl for their finding aids. Select the finding aid you’re interested in and then find the call number you want digitized. Then click the last icon “Scannen op verzoek” [Scanning on demand]. scan button

The following archives use the system by supplier Picturae. Go to the finding aids and click “Scan(s) aanvragen” after the item of interest.

The following archives will scan for you for free if you email them the record group (toegang) and call number (inventarisnummer):

Note: some other archives offer scanning-on-demand for a fee, sometimes using the same icon at Archieven.nl. You can just try clicking the icon to see if you are asked for payment or not. Please note that most archives have a restriction on how many records you can order per day/week/month or year.

Do you know of other archives that provide free scans on demand that are not on this list? Please let me know in the comments.

man operating a printing press

Man operating a printing press. Credits: Willem van de Pol, collection Nationaal Archief (Public Domain)

How to know which call number to order

Most of the archival descriptions are in Dutch, so it can be difficult to know what call number to order. You can use a browser like Google Chrome to translate the page for you.

Some of the more popular records have been indexed, for example in the People section at Archieven.nl. In cases where the scan is not included with the index, you should be able to click through to the source in the finding aid, where you may be able to click the Scanning-on-demand icon.

Restrictions on scanning on demand

All archives have restrictions on scanning on demand. Common restrictions are:

  • Only public records.
  • Only records more than 100 years old, to protect the privacy of living people.
  • Only well-preserved records that don’t need conservation before digitization.
  • Only whole call numbers, no specific records/pages.
  • Limited number of requests per user, for example 1 per week, 5 per month, or 4 simultaneous requests.

As you can imagine, this is a popular service, so waiting times can be several weeks to months. Some archives provide a paid express service if you don’t have the time to wait for the free version.

people pressed against a shop window

People waiting for a sale to start. Credits: Hugo van Gelderen, collection Nationaal Archief (Public Domain)

Last update: 27 October 2020.
About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Rodrigo Castel says

    I think this is just wonderful! The FamilySearch has a lot of vital records of Amsterdam. Unfortunately, for some reason, they do not have the volume 5 of the Book of births of 1868. For a sad coincidence this was exactly the volume which my great-great grandmother’s birth record is. But I became so happy when I saw the option to ask that volume to be scanned. I asked it and some weeks after they made it. Now I got that birth record! Excellent service!

  2. Terry VanZant says

    Great resource. Thank you!

    The link for Gelders Archief does not work.

  3. Kees van der Beek says

    Bij het RHCEindhoven doen ze het ook als je er om vraagt

  4. Indie van Lieshout says

    Hoi Yvette,

    je kan ook nog Erfgoed Leiden en Het Flevolands Archief hieraan toevoegen, beide gratis. Daarnaast biedt het Gemeentearchief Gemert-Bakel als het goed is ook gratis scanning on demand aan.

    Verder heb je ook nog het Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland dat dit aanbiedt: https://www.rijnland.net/over-rijnland/archieven-en-erfgoed/archieven-en-collecties/scans-aanvragen-pilot-tot-1-juli-2019/.

    Het Westfries Archief volgt binnenkort ook met een eigen scanservice. Bij het Drents Archief, Tresoar en Groninger Archieven staat het op de planning, maar kan goed nog twee of drie jaar duren.

    Overigens is de naam van het RHCL gewijzigd in HCL, Historisch Centrum Limburg, alleen wordt die naamswijziging pas duidelijk doorgevoerd op de nieuwe website, zie: https://www.vitec-memorix.com/media/sfimyd0t/websites-thumbs.png.



    • Dank voor de tips, ik ga het verwerken.

      • Indie van Lieshout says

        Dat is graag gedaan!

        Voor wat Tilburg betreft kan je er eventueel nog bij zetten dat voor de toegangen die niet voor scanning on demand beschikbaar zijn, je daarvan wel per mail inventarisnummers kan laten scannen, mits de stukken 100 jaar of ouder zijn.


  1. […] operating procedure everywhere? Yes, I know it costs money, but wouldn’t it be great?: Dutch Archives that Provide Free Scanning on Demand by Yvette Hoitink on Dutch […]

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