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Repertorium of ego-documents of nineteenth-century Dutchmen

Edited by Hans de Valk and Gerard Schulte Nordholt

“Ego-documents” is the collective name for the kind of text in which the personal life and views of the author play a central role: diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travellogs, accounts of religious conversions and so on. Between 1993 and 1996, two repertoria of Dutch ego-documents and travel logs were published as far as the year 1814 as a result of a research project commissioned by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and supervised by Dr R.M. Dekker of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). This current project follows on from the NWO project referred to above and aims to locate, catalogue and disclose nineteenth-century ego-documents for the period 1814 to 1914. A set of formal criteria must be met before a text can be included: the text, or at least part of it, must fall within the research period and the author has to have been born before 1900. Consequently, the results of the study cover a period that in fact extends from the late eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. The documents can be accessed by using a number of different search options, for example: author’s name, geographical location, etc.

The Huygens ING is responsible for locating any printed material (including the travel logs), the number of which tends to increase rapidly as the research period progresses. The long-term objective is to integrate the results from both projects and make them accessible as well as expanding them to include previously published repertoria.
The repertorium concerning handwritten egodocuments is being disclosed at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Preliminary results can be found on: www.egodocument.net/repertorium.

The part of the Repertorium project that focused on Dutch ego-documents published in printed format between 1813-1914 has now been completed. The titles of almost 5,000 printed texts have been collected, and in many cases additional details have been included and stored in an online database. This file can be searched in different ways, for example by typing in the author’s name, the type of text, the geographical location, and the period associated with the text.