To set up an online Index of Roman Catholic religious fraternities in the 19th century, with an entrance via the archive material handed down by these associations.
The project covers associations of Roman Catholic lay people, oriented toward the worship of a saint or a religious symbol, such as the confraternities of the rosary, the fraternities of the Holy Family and of the Sacred Heart.
The history of Roman Catholic fraternities in the Netherlands stretches back to the Middle Ages. This project, however, is oriented toward the 19th century and particularly the second half of that century. Various developments that occurred then are important here: the emancipation of the Roman Catholic Church and the Roman Catholics, the increasing grip of the Roman Catholic authorities on the lives of the believers, the corresponding pressure to live according to Roman Catholic principles, and the development of association life along confessional principles. This project can provide insight into the role of the fraternities in this development. Issues of social structure and content and the male-female proportional distribution of the members, as well as the extent to which the fraternities functioned as a platform for social interaction and conviviality, are also of major interest.
Historians have devoted little attention to fraternities in the 19th century. In view of the limited time available for research, four (as yet undetermined) regions will be studied, each consisting of one or more deaneries. The source material that is accessed is primarily located in the archives of diocese (such as visitation reports for example) and the archives of the parishes within the deaneries studied.