Crowdsourcing platform VeleHanden is ideal for research

With our crowdsourcing platform VeleHanden, more than a hundred unique collections have already been described by the crowd and millions of scans have been provided with metadata. But VeleHanden not only contributes to making collections accessible, it is also ideal for conducting research!

In 2019, Tessa de Boer searched the notarial archives for a master's thesis on Amsterdam as a diplomatic city during the 17th and 18th centuries for diplomatic envoys of all shapes and sizes. As an intern at the All Amsterdam Deeds project, she came into contact with VeleHanden. For her research, she posted a message on the VeleHanden forum asking if volunteers would let her know in which documents they encountered diplomats. This led to 200+ responses from volunteers! Her master's thesis was a resounding success and she won the Uitgeverij Verloren/Johan de Witt thesis prize for history. She is currently working on her dissertation and can use the help of our VeleHanden volunteers with this!

Tessa says the following about it: 'I am very interested in the bridge between the heritage sector, including archive institutions, and scientific historical research. I have experienced first-hand the importance of close lines, and I dare say that almost all the opportunities - small and large - that I have had so far professionally have directly resulted from the fact that I have bridged this gap. salad. It is extremely important in my daily work. The notarial archive is the most important source in my PhD research; the scale of the research as it stands today might have taken decades without VeleHanden. It is a very exciting time to be doing research, because we are truly entering a new phase in the accessibility and searchability of archival materials. This will bring about fundamental changes in our research methods, and completely new types of historical insight will suddenly be within reach.

What I also find very special is the active participation of the volunteers. I think it's really cool that dozens of volunteers take the trouble to look out for diplomats in deeds and report them to me. Without them this research would not be possible. That is why I also try to share these in my forum message if there are outputs, such as scientific or popular publications. This way, the volunteers know that their work is not in vain, but that researchers will get to work on it immediately and it will actually lead to new, published historical insights - thanks to them.'

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Tessa de Boer's full thesis can be read here: