About the Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection

Temporary Site Performance Issues

This site is currently experiencing technical difficulties, resulting in slowness or temporary unavailability. We are working to resolve these issues. In the meantime, you can access The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library's Hollar Collection on Collections U of T.

Copyright / Request

In keeping with its mission the University of Toronto Library provides access to the digital materials included in the Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection. The images in the online collection are derived from works in the public domain.

Copyright and other rights in the digital images, underlying encoded metadata, indexing and display of the materials in the Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection are held by the University of Toronto Library. The images may be used for the purposes of research, private study, or general interest. For these purposes the images may be viewed and printed without prior permission. Any other use, including publication, redistribution and/or broadcast in any form, including electronic, requires written permission. For reproduction requests please fill out the Digital Photography Order Form and send/fax your request to the address listed on the form.

Technical Information

The objective of the digital collection was to digitize and provide web access to the engravings of Wenceslaus Hollar. The project implementation can be divided into three separate processes: scanning, metadata creation and web access.


The scanning was done by the Collection Digitization Department, University of Toronto Libraries, on the Betterlight Super6K-HS digital camera system and the Xerox FreeFlow Scanner 665. The master images have been captured to the following scanning specifications:

File Format:


Bit Depth:

8-bit per channel of colour information (24 per pixel)




600 dpi

Since the chosen standard for archiving generates large files (average file size 48 MB), the project team chose to convert the images to JPEGs for online delivery. The site provides users with 3 sizes of JPEGs -- a thumbnail for quick reference and two sizes for examination and usage. In order to balance the onscreen quality with the overall size of the download, JPEG images were created at a medium compression level.

Metadata Creation

The descriptive metadata was initially saved in a relational database format. Upon migration in 2017, the metadata was converted to MODS xml and JSON. The descriptive metadata contains fields such as title, state, Parthey Pennington classification, dimensions and others that facilitate in the discovery and retrieval of information.

Please note that title and assigned classification metadata for items in the collection are supplied from A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Wenceslaus Hollar, 1607-1677. Language from this resource has been maintained in its original form within the digital collection metadata. Some of the language applied to the digital collection from this resource is outdated and may be offensive or harmful. In these cases, item metadata will need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us with any questions or feedback.

Web Access

In 2017 the Wenceslaus Hollar Digital Collection was migrated from ColdFusion to Islandora. Click here to view a web archived copy of the original site.