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Huygens ING receives NWO-large of 2.5 million euro for REPUBLIC

On Thursday, September 28, NWO awarded EUR 2.5 million to Huygens ING for the REPUBLIC Research Plan. This project makes the Resolutions of the States-General accessible online with the most modern techniques.

In the Golden Age, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands was ruled by the representatives of the provinces, the States-General. The Republic was a world power. With their decisions, the so-called ‘Resolutions’, the States General ruled Dutch society and a colonial empire between 1576 and 1796, and played a major role in war and peace in Europe.

Ida Nuijenhuis: ‘From rebellious rulers to world rulers in more than half a million pages: REPUBLIC unlocks the resolutions of the States-General and enables innovative research into more than two centuries of world history in the Netherlands!’

REPUBLIC will provide access to digital images of circa half a million pages of handwritten and printed political information from the Dutch Republic. In order to access their content REPUBLIC will deliver automated transcriptions and structured text that will be improved by both machine learning and human correction. We will automatically identify languages, dates, named entities (persons, geographical names, institutions), and certain text elements, and make this information available in an annotation layer. A framework for structured data will help users to access the resolutions by topics. These ground-breaking tools will create full access to the complete body of resolutions passed by the States General, 1576-1796.

REPUBLIC will provide an online, Open Access Research Environment that enables research by historians, political scientists and all those interested in the practice and evolution of politics, and the topics that politicians deal with, both in the Netherlands and abroad. For the Dutch Republic is a topic of huge interest to the scholarly community internationally. This facility is therefore guaranteed to be used intensely and for a long time to come, not only by Dutch historians and social scientists, but also by their colleagues from every part of the globe.

Investments NWO Large strengthen the possibilities of Dutch scientific research and the possibilities for international cooperation. NWO selects projects that are eligible for NWO Large Investments based on scientific quality, national function and social importance.