Digital collections: what about copyrights?

Generally speaking, every document that KBR digitises is put online via Belgica, the institution’s digital library, and also via its online catalogue. Documents may be viewed in image-only mode, or can be searched in full-text via a specialised interface, such as BelgicaPress, which is used for newspapers.


Digitised sources: viewing conditions

Works that are not subject to copyright are published online without any access restrictions.

Digitised works that are protected by rights can only be consulted

  • using special terminals in the Reading Rooms
  • via the KBR WiFi network
  • via the Belgian national research network (BELNET) for universities, colleges, schools and research centers

Works that are subject to copyright and for which KBR has the explicit permission of the rights-holders are accessible in the same way as works that are free of rights. This also applies to orphan works.

The digitised heritage can be viewed free of charge, but it is not possible to download images or documents. KBR does, however, have a service for ordering reproductions.



KBR’s digitisation policy also takes into account the statutory regulations related to copyrights. Prior to digitisation, the DIGIT Department checks whether or not a work is protected. The results are entered in a register and this information is included in the metadata to determine the extent to which these sources may be disseminated. The department also checks what kind of licence applies for metadata and images that have been created.


Contact the department