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This project is dedicated to letters from six prominent women from the Republic of the United Netherlands: those of the Orange and Stuart courts in The Hague: Amalia van Solms-Braunfels (1602-1675), Mary Stuart (1631-1640) and Mary II Stuart (1662-1694), and those of the Frisian Court in Leeuwarden: Sophia Hedwig von Braunschweig-Wolffenbüttel (1592-1642), Albertine Agnes of Orange-Nassau (1634-1696) and Henriëtte Amalia von Anhalt Dessau (1666-1726). Most letters from those six sovereigns have not been accessible or digitised in the past. This digital edition makes it possible to perform new scientific research into the influence of these women on the political, cultural and social processes, both within and outside the seventeenth-century Republic of the United Netherlands.

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In collaboration with Koninklijke Verzamelingen Den Haag and Oxford University’s (Women) Early Modern Letters Online, (W)EMLO, the Huygens ING processed over 3,500 letters and made them accessible via EMLO’s portal. Not only is the metadata of the entire corpus fully searchable, but there is a separate catalogue for every stadtholder’s wife, in which her correspondence can be accessed separately.

  1. Central page with letters from all six women: 3,543 letters
  2. Sophia Hedwig von Braunschweig Wolffenbüttel, wife of Ernst Casimir of Nassau-Dietz: 150 letters.
  3. Amalia von Solms-Braunfels, wife of Frederik Hendrik of Orange-Nassau: 1.170 letters.
  4. Mary Stuart, wife of William II of Orange-Nassau: 352 letters.
  5. Albertine Agnes of Orange-Nassau, wife of William Frederik of Nassau-Dietz: 404 letters.
  6. Mary (II) Stuart, wife of William III of Orange-Nassau: 116 letters.
  7. Henriette Amalia von Anhalt-Dessau, wife of Hendrik Casimir II of Nassau-Dietz: 1,342 letters.

The website also offers access to a digital exhibition, containing short biographies of the stadtholders’ wives and several sample letters. In addition, a zoomable map shows the main places of residence of the Holland and Frisian stadthouders and their wives. Soon, this exhibition will also map out the network of correspondence of the stadtholders’ wives with the help of visualisations.

Following a collaboration with the Fryske Akademy and Tresoar in 2017, the letters of Albertine Agnes of Orange Nassau and Henrietta Amalia von Anhalt-Dessau based in Leeuwarden were digitised and added to the catalogue. In collaboration with the Royal Archives, the correspondence of Anna van Hannover (2,500 letters) will also be made accessible.

Contact

Ineke Huysman

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