GLOBALISE blog & newsletter archive

Blog posts

  • Textile Taxonomies – GLOBALISE’s efforts in defining traded textiles in the Indian Ocean Region
    Do you know what a roll of ‘periemoenemolam’ is? Or what ‘gorgorongs’ are for that matter? Chance is, that you will at some point encounter cryptic terms like these as types of traded goods in the archives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). VOC ships carried a wide range of commodities in their holds. Users of the archive may find information about these commodities reflected in shipping or auction lists, and in more general reports about VOC trade. Many of the terms for these commodities, however, can seem completely foreign to contemporary readers, and their definitions cannot be easily […]
  • Aligning GLOBALISE with Researchers’ Needs
    While reading through archival records, you probably often come across names of people or places that you are unfamiliar with. In those moments, nothing is better than having access to resources that have already provided context on those historical persons or places. If your curiosity is tickled enough after such encounters, or secondary resources do not disclose that much information, would it not be great to be able to search through the archives to find other mentions of a specific person, place, or commodity in different contexts? GLOBALISE is working towards creating a research hub that makes the Dutch East […]
  • The (Ground) Truth is out there: an introduction to GLOBALISE’s use of Handwritten Text Recognition
    Anyone who has ever worked with the archives of the Dutch East India Company is bound to be impressed with its sheer scope. Even when limiting its ambitions to the letters, reports and other documents sent over from Asia to the Dutch Republic, GLOBALISE is faced with thousands of inventory numbers. Each of those numbers represents a hefty tome at the National Archives big enough to give students who don’t lift from the knees future back problems. Despite the efforts of countless historians who have created source publications of parts of the archive, most of this material is still only […]
  • Automatic Event Detection in Early Modern Dutch (VOC) documents: the Annotation Phase
    In order to unlock as much information as possible from our archives, a big part of the GLOBALISE project is developing software that can automatically detect events in the texts. This would mean, for example, that you could search for and extract data about events like shipwrecks, armed conflicts, or even more fine-grained events like the dismissal of a certain general. Event detection and its challenges This is a complex task because events do not only encompass the verbs, or even nouns or other linguistic elements that describe them, but also the persons that played a role in the event, […]
  • Rediscovering Early Modern Polities: First Thoughts on Dataset Creation
    You have been pouring over the archives for weeks together in search of precious information on your research subject. Just when you thought you had laid your hands on the document that would answer your research question (forgive the slight exaggeration here), you hit upon the name of a place or person that you know nothing of and this causes momentary bewilderment. As historians, we know this feeling of puzzlement all too well. This is why the GLOBALISE project is working to contextualise entities like the names of the places, ships and polities in the VOC archives. The first step to making […]
  • Looking back on a successful kickoff meeting
    On 11 May 2022, the International Institute of Social History hosted the GLOBALISE kickoff for those associated with the project as board and steering committee members and interested researchers and developers working on similar topics. An international group of more than sixty scholars, developers and heritage specialists attended, both on location and online. The kickoff was a moment to introduce the project aims and approach, and to offer a peek into the first results of the Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR), Historical Contextualisation, and Semantic Contextualisation work packages. Only four months into the project, we have been able to improve the […]

Newsletter archive

  • GLOBALISE newsletter 7
    11 April 2023 Upcoming event, new blog post, and data publication GLOBALISE datasprint: Mapping Places in the Indian Ocean World On 15 May 2023, GLOBALISE is organising a datasprint on places in the Indian Ocean world in collaboration with CREATE Lab. The goal is to collectively generate, curate, and link as much data on historical places […]
  • GLOBALISE newsletter 6
    1 March 2023 New blog post, data, and HTR update GLOBALISE HTR update Just before last year’s end, we started the automated transcription process of five million VOC scans.  The first part of this process was layout analysis, which is now complete! We are currently in the next phase: transcribing all handwritten characters into machine-readable […]
  • GLOBALISE newsletter 5
    13 December 2022 Review of 2022, new blog post and announcements Blog: "The (Ground) Truth is out there: an introduction to GLOBALISE’s use of Handwritten Text Recognition" Did you know Abrekocken are a type of apricots? GLOBALISE colleagues Maartje Hids and Kay Pepping hand out valuable HTR lessons in the latest blog post. Call for Data […]
  • GLOBALISE newsletter 4
    11 October 2022 User panel meetings, new blog post and seminars Seminar: "Classification of Historical Data and Collections" 31 OCTOBER 2022 Register for the seminar here. Shannon van Muijden Datamanager | Zuiderzeemuseum“Classification and Linked Data for Heritage Collections” Toine Pieters Professor | Utrecht University“Classification of pharmaceutical and botanical data in TimeCapsule” Kay Pepping Junior Researcher […]
  • GLOBALISE newsletter 3
    13 September 2022 New article, data contributions and seminar Article: "Transforming historical research practices – a digital infrastructure for the VOC archives" Read about the different processes behind the creation of the GLOBALISE research facility in this recently published article by Matthias van Rossum and Lodewijk Petram. The GLOBALISE process from scan to htr (I), […]
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