Experimenting with 360° and virtual reality representations as new access strategies to vulnerable physical collections: Two case studies at the KB, National Library of the Netherlands

In the late 1990s, the explosion of electronic resources resulted in large-scale digitisation projects amid the need for the preservation of digital information. The KB, National Library of the Netherlands, has been actively involved in these activities. Now, it is proposing better ways to both preserve physical library materials and improve their accessibility for educational purposes. This article describes two ongoing projects that involve preservation and public engagement. One, in its early stages, is to test the applicability of 360° imaging to support virtual access to the special collections’ storage. The second is the virtual reality production, for educational purposes, of children’s pop-up books. Both projects could inspire other libraries to introduce three-dimensional or virtual reality technologies and their applications to new audiences. This article describes each project, shows the methods used, and discusses the expected outcomes.