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Requests for information made by the Batavian-French government 1795-1813

Introduction

The database called ‘Descriptive Source Material from the Batavian-French period’ provides access to the wide range of data on Dutch society between the years 1795 to 1813 that currently exists in government archives. People looking for information about the Netherlands as a whole as well as those who are interested in one particular province, town or village, will find something to their liking in this database.

Type of data

The sovereign and the ministries submitted one-off, specific requests for information to the provincial and municipal authorities. Central government wanted to use the responses to develop a national policy for matters that were still dealt with on either a provincial or local level or else use information to create new policies.

In order to keep the amount of material within a certain limit only the national archives were consulted. Consult selection explained for the other selection criteria.

The data do not just consist of figures alone, they often contain descriptions too. Themes include, for example, poor relief, education, the church, weights and measures, guilds and fire-fighters.

The data were almost always intended to be used exclusively by the government. Only a handful, for example about agriculture and education, were published as statistics. References to these types of publications are also mentioned in the database.