2TBI: Towards an International Biographical Infrastructure

The 2TBI-team set out to link a database of persons who were internationally active in the 19th and early 20th century, with online biographical resources in the Netherlands.

  • Nico Randeraad
  • Geschiedenis
Resource types
  • Data
Dutch participants (black nodes) who attended more than 5 international congresses (brown nodes), visualized in Nodegoat

To put it in plain terms, we wanted to know more about the local and national backgrounds of Dutch reformers who – we know – were involved in initiatives at an international level. The result of our endeavor is a selection of around 1100 Dutch persons, whom we can trace in various data collections (see the dataset on the Clariah infrastructure).

2TBI was important in gaining experience with the ResourceSync protocol for harvesting data. At the end of the pilot, the set-up of the ResourceSync connection between the Nodegoat software, used by the researchers (cf. the parent project TIC based in Ghent), and Anansi was running successfully.

Apart from the technical advances, the project also pursued promising research lines in transnational history. 2TBI’s research objective is to show to what extent and in which ways Dutch social reformers were active at the local level, on a national scale, and at international congresses, in order to explore the transnational embeddedness of the reform issues in which they were involved. Our (ongoing) research not only looks into the organizations which the reformers represented or were affiliated with, and which were mentioned in the congress proceedings, but also probes further into local and national backgrounds that emerge from other sources (national and/or specialized biographies, almanacs, address books, library catalogues digital resources, etc.). To our surprise, the names of quite a few internationally active reformers do not appear in standard national biographies.