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Networks of the Dutch Republic


Prof. dr. Frans Grijzenhout

Members of the research group

A.E. Anikin MA
dr. R. Baars
dr. F.R.E. Blom
dr. M.J. Bok
Lucas van der Deijl MA
G.W.H. Dijkstra MA
dr. P. Dijstelberge
H.A. Feenstra MA
prof.dr. E.M.P. van Gemert
prof.dr. C.M.J.M. van den Heuvel
prof.dr. J.P.B. Jonker
dr. E.E.P. Kolfin
dr. A. Nobel
dr. J. Noorman
prof.dr. K.H. van Dalen - Oskam
dr. G.M. v.d. Roemer
dr. M. Simons
prof.dr. Gabri van Tussenbroek
prof.dr. C.J. Zandvliet

External members
dr. H.T. Nijboer (Huygens/KNAW)
Rindert Jagersma MA (RUN)
Alberto Feenstra MA (guest researcher UvA)
Sabine Muller MA

Description of the research programme of the research group

One of the reasons behind the immense success of the cultural industry in the Dutch Golden Age was the dense clustering of networks that constituted the Republic. Those networks varied from social, commercial, political, religious and artistic to scientific, and most times they combined several of those features.
The members of this research group explore, in a cross-disciplinary setting, the structures and activities of those networks in the ‘long’ Golden Age (1550-1750), their multiple relations to foreign networks, and the impact of their activities on Dutch society. Research is carried out in close cooperation with cultural heritage institutions (like the Amsterdam Stadsarchief, the Amsterdam Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Amsterdam University Library’s Special Collections). With respect to methodology, the research group will combine classical scholarship with tools and strategies from the e-humanities. An important tool is the prosopographic information system Ecartico. This open access database on the cultural industry of the Low Countries was developed at the UvA during the last decade. In the next years new tools and resources will be developed and implemented.
The second aim of this research group is critical reflection both on the applicability of the Dutch societal model as a generic ‘recipe for success’ and on the fruitfulness of research methods that seek to discover and adequately analyse the activities and impact of networks.

Recent results

Group activities: The group met two times to discuss ongoing research (lectures by Arjan Nobel; Rindert Jagersma). Some members have their own more or less stand alone projects; the majority work together in groups designing and carrying out research projects (also in cooperation with scholars from other groups and institutions like Huygens&Meertens/KNAW, Amsterdam City Archive, Amsterdam Museum, RKD). Members also teach in each others BA and MA courses occasionally and in Winter/Summerschools and the national PhD research Institutes. Some members give co-presentations at conferences. Research themes about network are also on the programme of the regular seminar of the Golden Age Centre (like March 2017).

Conferences: all members gave lectures at conferences and/or were in the organising committee. Examples of conferences: Sixteenth Century (Brugge) 2016; Eur. Ass. Chinese Studies (St. Petersburg) 2016; City Archive Amsterdam 2016; Eur. Ass. Urban History 2016; SHARP (Paris) 2016; Warburg Postgrad. Symp 2016; Creativity & the City, 1600-2000: an E-Humanities Perspective (Amsterdam) 2016; Gerard de Lairesse (Rijksmus. Twenthe & RKD Den Haag) 2017; Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles) 2017; RSA Chicago 2017; Cultural Exchange (Huygens/KNAW) 2017; Nederlab Seminar (Meertens/KNAW) 2017; Merian (KIT Amsterdam) 2017; Dig. Humanities Benelux 2017; Digitizing Enlightenment II 2017.

Publications: the senior members publish in international and national refereed bookseries and journals and supply many research results to open access databases like Ecartico, Onstage, Ceneton, Arkyves etc. Four members were on the editorial board of a journal or bookseries in the report period. PhD’s present their work in lectures and publish when they find suitable media; three PhD’s hope to finish their dissertation in the academic year 2017-2018. 


Nine members of the research group participate in the NWO-Large Investment project: Golden Agents: Creative Industries and the Making of the Dutch Golden Age(2017-2022;; P.I. Ch. van den Heuvel).

Six members participate in Creative Amsterdam: an e-Humanities perspective (ACHI UvA), and worked there on Network themes with 4 pre-PhDs and 6 student research-assistants in the report period; two of these pre-PhD’s also got a NWO/Nederlab grant for this research.

Other grants obtained: NWO PhD’s in the Humanities (Van Gemert/Van der Deijl i.c. with Van den Bosch Meertens/KNAW); NWO Free Competition (Jonker); National Archive (Nobel)

Societal relevance

The research group aims at high visibility of results. The Ecartico database is already open to public access, as is the website of the Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age, which will be the regular channel for communication about the project’s news, activities and publications. The group aims at exhibitions and web presentations in cooperation with institutions of cultural heritage. Members of the group will give public lectures (for organisations like SPUI25 and the UvA Illustere School) and use popular media for news and publications.

Valorization activities/results

Exhibitions: Barbaren en wijsgeren (Haarlem 2017; Dijkstra); Maria Sibilla Merian (Amsterdam 2017; Van de Roemer)

Tv series: Grijzenhout: Kunstraadsels, summer 2017, 6 weeks (MAX/NPO2, 200-300.000 viewers each week)

Websites: Onstage (UvA; Blom, Van Gemert, Muller, Nijboer); Ecartico (UvA; Bok, Nijboer); (Rijksmuseum; Blom, Van Gemert); Ceneton (UL; Blom, Van Gemert); 

Lectures, master classes etc.: Illustere School; Netherlands eScience Centre; Hermitage aan de Amstel; City Archive The Hague; Stg Notariële wetenschap; City Archive Amsterdam

Activities: preprarations commemoration Bredero 2018 (Van Gemert)