The use of web statistics in cultural heritage institutions

Henk Voorbij (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Den Haag, The Netherlands)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Publication date: 30 November 2010



This paper aims to describe the use of web statistics by libraries, archives and museums in The Netherlands.


Three methods were applied: a survey among more than 100 institutions, interviews and content analysis of annual reports.


Most institutions gather web statistics. A large variety of packages is used, which hinders comparison among institutions. Web statistics are used for practical purposes, such as adapting the web site or setting priorities for further digitization, and as a critical success factor. Most archives and museums mention web statistics in their annual report. Usually, they do not explain the data and do not provide background information, which makes it difficult to interpret them.

Research limitations/implications

The sample represented institutions with above average interest in, or experience with, digitizing.

Practical implications

This inventory may stimulate large‐scale use of web statistics in cultural heritage institutions and be the first step towards standardization.


This study is the first attempt to investigate the use of web statistics in cultural heritage institutions in The Netherlands.



Voorbij, H. (2010), "The use of web statistics in cultural heritage institutions", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 266-279.

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