The colour prints seen here were created by digitizing 927 glass negatives from the Amsterdam Municipal Archives. To achieve first-class picture quality, sets of three practically matching black-and-white negatives had to be selected from a far more sizeable total collection. Assembling these sets was an arduous task: they had not always been filed neatly together and could be found among several glass negative formats, particularly among the 4.5 x 6 cm size. In the end, it appeared that the selection of some sets did not lead to a satisfactory result, but the whole operation nevertheless yielded 309 beautiful prints.
When taking these photographs, Eilers was more preoccupied with colour than with their subject or composition. So on average, the prints on view are not representative of his entire oeuvre. In fact, Eilers was a highly gifted photographer from an artistic point of view. Most of all, he is noted for his dreamy images of Amsterdam and other places, breathing out an esoteric atmosphere.
The full Eilers collection includes various sizes of glass negatives, magic lantern slides, stereographic slides, autochromes and original prints. In preparation for the Eilers retrospective, they were digitized in 2004. You can view the collection at the image bank of the Amsterdam Municipal Archives.