North-Brabant Charters 690-1312

Edited by H.P.H. Camps, M. Dillo and G.A.M. Van Synghel.

Charters deal with every known aspect of societal life: relations between sovereigns; favours granted by the Pope; donations; buying, selling, renting and leasing of property; financial transactions; rules and regulations issued by all types of authoritative bodies; judicial verdicts; writs; the list is endless. There is hardly any aspect of mediaeval history that we know about today whose original source cannot be traced back to a reference found in a charter. Moreover, further examination of the manuscript, wording and seal of a charter can provide us with insights into how the charters were made and the kind of environment and communities in which they were created.

The scholarly edition of the North-Brabant charters up to 1312 follows the same editorial system as similar publications that focussed on other provinces. That way, the scarce written source material about the Netherlands pre-dating the 1300s could be made more accessible and opened up to researchers.

In 1960, the National Archive of the Netherlands began working on the project which was an initiative of the Historische Sectie van het Provinciaal Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen [the History Unit of the Provincial Society for the Arts and Sciences] in North Brabant. The project was taken over by the National Historical Publications (RGP) in 1970. With regard to the lay-out of the publication, the texts of the charters have been reproduced in full and grouped region by region in chronological order. The original contents of the charter texts have been reproduced as accurately as possible together with the (inferred) date. The texts also contain basic information about their physical appearance, where they were found and how they were handed down and, if necessary, accompanied by information on how they came into being, their context, authenticity and how they survived. The texts are preceded by a brief summary of contents, in modern Dutch, in which the issuer and the judicial act or fact play a central role. An index of personal and place names has also been added to make it easier to look up information in each section. The source material was gathered in archives and libraries inside and outside the Benelux countries, but only in so far as this was mentioned in the literature.

The following volumes have been published:
H.P.H. Camps ed., Oorkondenboek van Noord-Brabant tot 1312, I De Meierij van ‘s-Hertogenbosch (met de heerlijkheid Gemert) (‘s-Gravenhage 1979).
M. Dillo en G.A.M. Van Synghel m.m.v. E.T. van der Vlist, Oorkondenboek van Noord-Brabant tot 1312, II De heerlijkheden Breda en Bergen op Zoom (Den Haag 2000).

The project ended with the publication of Vol. II. The project restarted in 2009 by the Stichting Brabantse Bronnen. For more information go to the website Digitaal Oorkondenboek van Noord-Brabant.