Interview VeleHanden volunteer Jeroen Zwier

Jeroen Zwier has already entered more than 10,000 scans and last year participated in a talk show dedicated to VeleHanden. He likes to introduce himself.

More than 20,000 volunteers at VeleHanden are committed to making heritage digitally accessible. But who exactly are these volunteers? To introduce you to them, we would like to introduce you to one of our dedicated volunteers every month. @Jeroen Zwier has already entered more than 10,000 scans and last year participated in a Talk Show dedicated to VeleHanden, which you can watch here: He would like to introduce himself to you

1. Introduction:

My name is Jeroen Zwier and I have been working with VeleHanden for over 3 years. My interest in history makes it easier for me to participate. During the corona period it was not possible to work at Oudheidkamer Twente, Museum Hengelo and museum farm De Wendezoele. This is how my participation in VeleHanden came about in December 2020 – and now it is indispensable!

2. Why do you participate in VeleHanden?

I was originally looking for more information for my family tree. I soon ended up with projects where information might emerge: Compared for me and All Amsterdam deeds. These projects of the West Fries Archives and Amsterdam City Archives have already yielded something for my family tree, partly due to the help of other participants (colleagues!) (particularly at Compareerde voor me). I also participated in projects such as Population Registers Zeeland 1900-1938, The last card: personal cards 1939-1984 and Fan wa bisto ien? Population registers Sudwest-Fryslan 1850-1922. I even made a logbook of all these projects with the activities and details that I encountered.

3. What is the best project you are participating in or have participated in?

In All Amsterdam Deeds you can get the most fascinating stories from notarial deeds, which contain a piece of Amsterdam's history. Compareeren voor me is about indexing notarial deeds of notaries in West Friesland. Also participation in Traliewerk/Traaljuwurk, in which data must be obtained from prison registers from 1797 onwards (this contains suspects and convicts from Frisian prisons). Always in mind: will I find an ancestor by chance? But other projects where I only have to enter names and additional information are fun to do from time to time.

4. When are you active on VeleHanden?

I try to enter a number of them in the morning and on television-free evenings (of which there are often these days) also for 1 to 1.5 hours. It varies per project how quickly you can work through them. My aim is to work through at least 10 deeds (per day).

5. What have you learned from VeleHanden?

During the time I've been working on it, you'll learn to read the different manuscripts better and better. Some notaries (and/or clerks) use almost calligraphy, and others use a kind of doctor's handwriting and are therefore more difficult to decipher. In addition, by reading and studying the deeds you also gain insight into the society of that time.