Mission, vision and strategy


The Huygens Institute is the national institute for research into history and culture of the Netherland. We do so in an international perspective. Our mission is to study historical written sources and literary texts in innovative ways. We want to make and keep these sources and texts accessible to everyone.


We aim to be the leading knowledge institute for everything and everyone to do with Dutch history and culture. Our ambition is to make the study of the past of the Netherlands more inclusive: we want to do more justice to the multifaceted and multi-voiced history and culture of this country.

Core values

The Huygens Institute aims to be an honest and social organisation that stands for integrity, discretion, respect, and inclusiveness. We stand for openness, cooperation, and self-reflection.


We fulfil our mission by conceiving, conducting, and communicating scientific research as transparently as possible. We develop tools to map and analyse historical and cultural data. We occupy a key position in building a national digital infrastructure for the humanities. In this, the Digital Infrastructure Department of the Humanities Cluster plays a central role. Together with our partners, we create structured datasets that are freely accessible to everyone.

Six groups and shared themes

We have six research groups , focusing on (1) political culture and history; (2) peoples life courses; (3) computational literature; (4) knowledge and art practices; (5) digital editions; and (6) Dutch culture and identity. A crucial role is played by digital infrastructure, data and tools.

Institute-wide themes are knowledge networks, biographical data, and dealing with climate, weather and energy.


We collaborate with universities at home and abroad, national research schools, research institutes, archives, museums, knowledge centres, civil society organisations and the creative sector.


The Huygens Institute is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. This Akademie is funded by the Dutch government. In addition, a significant part of our Institute’s research is funded on a project basis by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), by the European Union (Horizon Europe), and sometimes also by private funds, foundations, heritage institutions and local governments.