The collection of the Kupferstichkabinett encompasses some 300,000 works on paper from the 15th century to the present. These include drawings, watercolors, and prints, as well as some photographs. Due to their sensitivity to light, these works can be exhibited only to a limited extent. Researchers, students, and the lay public thus have the opportunity to view the works only in the study room.
For this reason, the Kupferstichkabinett will gradually make its most significant holdings available online. This will not only facilitate scholarly research, but will also make the collection accessible to a wider audience.
Three thousand drawings from the Amerbach Cabinet, and other Old Master works from the 15th-17th centuries will be chosen for the digitization project. These works constitute the world-renowned core of the Kupferstichkabinett, which traces its origins to the collections of Basilius Amerbach and Remigius Faesch. These drawings are very well-researched in certain specific areas—such as in the case of Hans Holbein the Younger and Urs Graf. To date, however, not all the findings have been recorded in the database and the visual resources (where they are available in digital form at all) vary greatly in quality. Thanks to generous support from the Helvetia Versicherungen, these works are now being digitized and re-catalogued over a period of three years, starting in September 2017.