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Priestly libraries in the Dutch Republic

The pilot project aims to record the bibliographic information in the inventories of two priestly libraries of the Dutch Republic of the 18th century. The scholarly significance of such libraries is well known: They show what Catholic priests who served in the Dutch mission read or at least found useful. In addition, such libraries can tell us more about Dutch Catholic spirituality in the early modern period, as well as about interest in books that did not fall within the realm of theology and pastoral care. Fortunately, a number of these libraries have been (partially) preserved and can be consulted. Possible annotations in these books could also reveal more about the reading culture of those who owned and used them. A number of inventories of this kind have already been processed in the past, mostly in the form of scholarly editions, i.e. a transcription of the inventory with a (short) introduction and / or analysis. However, it is difficult to compare these libraries, as the existing editions have been published in printed form. This makes it difficult to search for and analyse the information they contain. This pilot project aims to explore the possibilities of creating and working with digital editions of such inventories. It
begins by recording the information in the collections of the two parish libraries in an Excel file. Then the further possibilities of capturing and printing the data in a specific data model that supports analysis within and between libraries will be explored. The aim is to produce a prototype that demonstrates the scientific potential of the historical data and the data model. If the prototype is successful, it can be used to expand the project and consider applying for a grant.