Dutch Ships and Sailors project started

a very unofficial DSS logo i madeLast week saw the kickoff of the new Clarin NL-funded project “Dutch Ships and Sailors”(*). This project will run for one year and gives me the opportunity to work with historians from both VU and Huygens ING on applying Linked Data principles to Dutch maritime-historical data. From the official description:

As a sea-faring nation, a large portion of Dutch history is found on the water. However, much of the digitized historical source material is still scattered across many databases and archives. This curation and demonstrator project aims to bring together the rich maritime historical data preserved in the many different databases. We propose a (semantic) web-based infrastructure

that will house various maritime-historical datasets. We will provide a tool chain and methodology for converting legacy datasets. The infrastructure includes common vocabularies to normalize and enrich existing data. Links are established between the datasets and to other relevant datasets on the Web. Although the infrastructure will be set up to facilitate 25+ identified datasets, we initially populate the infrastructure with four selected datasets. These will allow us to investigate two case studies in order to answer the historical research question “To what extent did patterns of shipping and recruitment in the Dutch maritime sector change over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries?”

(*) the project’s official title is Dutch Ships and Seamen, but we think this is potentially less problematic 🙂

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