By Just de Leeuwe

The TU Delft Repository has been in existence for 10 years. Beginning with the publication of a few dissertations, it has developed into the most prominent TU Delft outlet for displaying the university’s output to the world: dissertations, theses, books, speeches, video lectures, images and educational materials. Much has changed in 10 years. Open Access has been transformed from a lofty ideal to a business model for publishers, and the content of Open Access has been broadened to become Open Science, including teaching resources, open data and software as part of a larger whole.

During these last few weeks of 2014 we look back at these developments in 5 chapters.

In chapter 4: A broader scope

Expansion and growth 2009-2014

Through the years, the scope of the repository phenomenon continued to become broader. Multiple types of output (e.g. student papers) were presented for TU Delft, as well as for external knowledge partners. Thematic were also developed. This resulted in a sharp increase in the number of objects and descriptions in the TU Delft, ultimately surpassing 100,000 descriptions.

Subject Repositories

Several subject repositories were built on commission from clients. The Hydraulic Engineering repository was established in close collaboration with the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.  This opened access to thousands of reports by Deltares, Rijkswaterstaat and other knowledge partners through a thematic portal.  Valuable reports on the history of aviation were presented for the AE faculty, including those from the NLR.

Sand wave Vlieland 1990

External repositories

Companies and external knowledge institutions also approached the TU Delft Repository for advice and possibilities for presenting their scientific output in the public domain.  Reports and articles from Philips Research, IHE-UNESCO, WODC and TNO were thus presented within a repository structure managed by the TU Delft Library. All of these repositories are also included in the national NARCIS infrastructure.

Student theses

Student theses have been included in the content of the TU Delft Repository since 2008, following a successful pilot project in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.  It is important for students to be able to see the work of other students as a source of inspiration for their further studies. Online theses constitute an excellent supplement to student CV, and they provide a good frame of reference for future employers. After a slow start, these Library services are being used by an increasing number of faculties. The 100,000th student thesis was posted online in April 2014.

On behalf of the TU Delft Library, and in the presence of mentors Huib de Ridder and Anton Jellema, Kees Moerman (right) presents graduate Laura Holtkamp with a Bluetooth watch that will keep her in constant contact with her telephone or tablet.


One component of the repository infrastructure is the TU Delft Beeldbank (image archive) for the online storage and sharing of multimedia material from TU Delft. This collection consists of 33,000 digital photos, images, audio files and video files related to TU Delft. This image bank contains both recent and historical material.

The new Repository: Colonial architecture

In the period 2011–2014, work will proceed on a new type of repository. At the request of the Chair in the History of Architecture and Urban Planning in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, a repository was built that can serve as a research environment for European architecture and urban planning that was carried out in European colonies between 1850 and 1970. The repository offers online access to a wide range of digitised source material: text documents, photographs, maps and archives.

The repository also contains information on architects, projects (buildings and urban development plans), as well as on the organisations in which the architects studied and/or worked. Semantic techniques are used to connect materials to each other. The content of the repository is enhanced by other linked data sources (Geonames, Arts & Architecture Thesaurus). Users searching on the term ‘Batavia’ would thus also find all buildings constructed in Jakarta.