Biografisch Portaal

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The Huygens Institute is housed in the same building as the RKD, the National Archives, the Nederlands Letterkundig Museum (LM), the Netherlands Music Institute (NMI) and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. KoninklijkeBibliotheek2.jpg
The Huygens Institute is housed in the same building as the RKD, the National Archives, the Nederlands Letterkundig Museum (LM), the Netherlands Music Institute (NMI) and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

The Biografisch Portaal (Biography Portal) is an initiative based at the Huygens Institute for Dutch History in The Hague, with the aim of making biographical texts of the Netherlands more accessible.

The Hague City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat of government of the Netherlands.


The project was started in February 2010 with material for 40,000 digitized biographies, with the goal to grant digital access to all reliable information about (deceased) people of the Netherlands from the earliest beginnings of history up to modern times. [1]

The Netherlands as a geographic term includes former colonies, and the term "people" refers both to people born in the Netherlands and its former colonies, and also to people born elsewhere but active in the Netherlands and its former colonies. As of 2011, only biographical information about deceased people is included. The system used is based on the standards of the Text Encoding Initiative. Access to the Biografisch Portaal is available free through a web-based interface.

Text Encoding Initiative an academic community concerned with practices for semantic markup of texts

The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is a text-centric community of practice in the academic field of digital humanities, operating continuously since the 1980s. The community currently runs a mailing list, meetings and conference series, and maintains an eponymous technical standard, a journal, a wiki, a GitHub repository and a toolchain.

The project is a cooperative undertaking by ten scientific and cultural bodies in the Netherlands with the Huygens Institute as main contact. The other bodies are:

The Digital Library for Dutch Literature is a website about Dutch language and Dutch literature. The website contains thousands of literary texts, secondary literature and additional information, like biographies, portrayals etcetera, and hyperlinks. The DBNL is an initiative by the DBNL foundation that was founded in 1999 by the Society of Dutch Literature.

International Institute of Social History Historical Research Institute in Amsterdam

The International Institute of Social History (IISG) is one of the largest archives for labour, left and social history in the world. It is an independent scientific institute in Amsterdam. The IISG is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. It was founded in 1935 by Nicolaas Posthumus. The large archives of the institute harbor invaluable and extensive papers of several international social movements and currents, including papers of individuals such as Rosa Luxemburg, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin.

The Parlementair Documentatie Centrum is a Dutch institute connected to Leiden University that documents parliamentary history.

Besides ongoing digital projects, Dutch biographical dictionaries originally published in book form that have been digitized and incorporated into the indexes of the Biografisch Portaal are: [2]

The Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland (BWN) is a Dutch biographical dictionary, in which short biographies of well-known and less well-known but still notable Dutch people are listed.

<i>Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek</i> Dutch biographical reference work

The Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek (NNBW) is a biographical reference work in the Dutch language. It has been succeeded by the Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland.

Johan Engelbert Elias was a Dutch historian known mostly for his important work on the history of Amsterdam's regency.

As of November 2012 the Biografisch Portaal contained 80,206 persons in 125,592 biographies. In February 2012, a new project was started called "BiographyNed" to build an analytical tool for use with the Biografisch Portaal that will link biographies to events in time and space. [4] The main goal of the three-year project is to formulate ‘the boundaries of the Netherlands’. [5]

See also

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  1. article on government website of the Dutch constitution
  2. List of collections on the Biografisch Portaal website
  3. This is the only indexed dictionary that cannot be accessed from IP addresses outside Dutch university libraries
  4. "Toekenning BiographyNed Huygens ING / VU".
  5. "Grant for eHumanities project: BiographyNed - 2012 - Faculty of Arts, VU University Amsterdam". 24 February 2012.