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Online tools

This section provides an overview of online tools for the study of the medieval Low Countries. The websites linked down below are often times both available in Dutch and English.

This overview includes:

  1. An overview of online resources for the late medieval Low Countries. It serves as a first entry point to a) many manuscripts and archival documents, mainly in the archives and libraries of the Netherlands and Belgium, and b) a number of important online search tools and reference works.
  2. A set of tools for reading and interpreting medieval sources.

When using this overview, the following remarks apply:

  1. Generally, this document contains material that can be consulted free of charge. In some cases, it involves (very relevant) e-books that are available for a reasonable fee.
  2. For some sites, it is necessary to have an access pass from the Royal Library and/or one of the university libraries. Membership of the Royal Library costs 15 euros (7.50 for students).
  3. This overview does not claim to be complete. Most archives and libraries are actively working on digitizing their collections. This overview is also a work in progress.

This overview was prepared by Robert Stein (UL), with the collaboration of the members of the Medieval History section (Leiden) and many friendly colleagues. Particularly, the contributions of Mario Damen (UvA), Jelle Haemers (KUL), David Napolitano (UL), Dirk Schoenaers (UL), and Rombert Stapel (IISG) proved to be very useful. Suggestions for additions and/or improvements to this overview are always welcome and can be sent to the following email address: r.stein@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

  1. General access point for medieval source-oriented research
  2. Editions of medieval sources
  3. Online available 'originals'
    1. Manuscripts and incunabula
    2. Archival materials
    3. Charters
    4. Images and heritage
  4. Subfields
    1. Economic and demographic data
    2. History of state institutions
    3. Literary history
    4. Historiography
    5. Hagiographies (saints' lives)
    6. Memorial books
    7. Church history
    8. Education and universities
    9. Bibles
    10. Legal historical sources
    11. Women and gender
    12. Revolt in the Netherlands
    13. Water boards
    14. Trade and business
    15. Museums and medieval heritage
  5. Secondary literature
    1. Heuristics
    2. Online accessible articles, blogs, and book reviews
    3. Biographies
  6. For fun

1. General access points for medieval source-oriented research

The Lexikon des Mittelalters (also known as the International Encyclopaedia for the Middle Ages) is a first general access points to a wide range of medieval research. It is accessible online through academic libraries and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.

First access points to libraries and archives:

General access to various medieval sources, especially a good entry point to edited sources: Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

On the portal of the Medieval Academy of America, numerous databases are gathered for those seeking material sources and non-Dutch databases.

An interesting site with various information for educators and students: Middle Ages for Educators

A wonderful access point to the sources for the feudal archives of Gelre, Holland, Zeeland, and the Sticht.

The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (IRPA KIK) investigates, documents, restores, and conserves well-known and lesser-known works of art. The various projects they have undertaken, along with the results and discoveries, can be found here.

2. Editions of medieval sources

The Huygens/ING portal provides access to many editions of historical sources, including:

A publication of sources regarding municipal rights in Holland and Zeeland: Repertorium van de stadsrechten in Nederland (Directory of Municipal Rights in the Netherlands).

A doctoral thesis on the granting of municipal law privileges in Holland and Zeeland: 'Hebbende previlegie van stede' De verlening van stadsrechtprivileges in Holland en Zeeland (13de - 15de eeuw).

A portion of the splendid collection of the Belgian Royal Commission for History is available online and includes, among other things:

  • A rhymed chronicle of Brabant, "Brabantsche Yeesten," available in multiple parts (Les Gestes des ducs de Brabant, par Jean De Klerk, d’Anvers).
  • A collection of Chronicles of Flanders, available in multiple parts (Recueil des Chroniques de Flandre. Corpus Chronicorum Flandriae).
  • A chronicle of Brabant and Flanders (Chroniques de Brabant et de Flandres).
  • Census data for Brabant between the 14th and 16th centuries (Les dénombrements de foyers en Brabant).
  • The city accounts of Ypres, 1267-1329 (Comptes de la ville d'Ypres de 1267 à 1329).

The Digital Library for Dutch Literature is a digital collection of texts from Dutch literature, linguistics, and cultural history. In addition to published primary sources, you can also find secondary literature here.

Many French-language publications and sources, including those from Wallonia, are accessible via the Persée portal.

Through Regesta Imperii, you gain access to regesta of charters from the Holy Roman Kings and emperors, as well as a wealth of secondary literature.

Although the Textual Scholarship website is unfortunately no longer being updated, it still provides good links to editions of various sources.

Editions of literary texts in Middle Dutch can be found in the catalogue of Scripta Manent.

Many old editions (prior to approximately 1900) are available via Google Books or the Internet Archive. The highly important Cartulaire des Comtes de Hainaut by Léopold Devillers is available via the Internet Archive.

Other interesting resources include Hathi Trust (a digital library covering diverse subjects in more than 400 languages), Monumenta Germaniae Historica (a research institution focused on medieval Europe and Germany), Clio Online (an online portal providing access to various historical subjects and tools), Gallica Manuscrits (a collection of medieval manuscripts), and British History Online (a collection of primary sources and secondary literature on British and Irish history).

A surprising find is Index Librorum Civitatum. Although strongly focused on Germany, this site provides a good overview of books from municipal secretariats.

A very thorough and up-to-date overview of narrative sources of the German Empire – to which the majority of the Netherlands also belonged – can be found at the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften: Geschichtsquellen: Start

Utrechtse Kronieken provides access to eight chronicles through its website, which pertain to the history of the city of Utrecht. These chronicles discuss, among other things, the origin and development of monasteries, the history of the Utrecht bishops, and wars between Utrecht and the Counts of Holland."

Furthermore, a google search for sources can oftentimes provide interesting finds.

3. Online available 'originals'

3.1 Manuscripts and incunabula 

List of digitized Dutch manuscripts and prints up to c. 1550 in libraries worldwide.

Overview of digitized collections worldwide (regardless of language): Digitized Medieval Manuscripts app (DMMapp) and Biblissima.

The Bibliotheca Neerlandica Manuscripta & Impressa (BNM-I) provides a wonderful access point for searching manuscripts of Middle Dutch texts based on (normalized) titles and incipits.

The Khan Academy provides insight into the dissemination of knowledge in medieval Europe, with various interesting source-related data.

Belgica provides access to the library of the Burgundian dukes and various other manuscripts. On Arlima, you can find many French manuscripts, while Handschriftencensus guides you through German-language manuscripts. British and French manuscripts up to 1200 can be found on the Manuscrits Médiévaux site. The Digitale Bibliothek Deutscher Klassiker is a database of digitized German classical works and includes historical, philosophical, theological, political, and art historical texts (KB membership required).

Hanno Wijsman (IRHT, Paris) compiled an overview of illuminated manuscripts from the Netherlands, created between 1400 and 1550. (Typ 'http' and then copy and paste the following telma.irht.cnrs.fr//outils/luxury-bound/index/)


Furthermore, Telma provides a charter database comprising various types of sources that can be searched based on name, area, year, and theme. (type 'http' in your search bar and copy and paste the following: ://telma-chartes.irht.cnrs.fr/)

3.2 Archival Materials

Many archive inventories can be consulted online through the archives' websites. Only a limited portion of the archival materials is available online. However, it is often possible to obtain relatively quick access to scans of archival documents through scanning on demand.

European access to archival material can be found through the European University Institute, while Dutch archival collections are usually accessible via Archieven.nl.

A (small) part of the collections of the National Archives has been digitized. This includes parts of the important funds of:

  • Counts of Holland
  • The court chapel
  • The counts of Blois
  • Many monastery archives are also partially available. For example:
    • Abbey of Rijnsburg
    • Monastery Emmaus (Gouda)
    • States monasteries (Delft)
    • Abbey Leeuwenhorst

Much more material from monastery archives can be found by typing 'monastery' as a keyword in the search function.

The archival materials of the State Archives in Belgium are also only digitally accessible to a limited extent. An overview of many available inventories can be found through this search engine. However, original source material is hardly accessible online. A search may yield an impressive list of archival funds, but often this represents only a fraction of the material available in its original form. For example, only a few documents from the massive Archives of the Audit Offices have been digitized. However, there is interesting access to the bailiff's accounts of Flanders. The following important funds are partially available:

  • Registers of the Great Council of Mechelen
  • Matriculation books of the University of Leuven (1426-1797)
  • Council of Brabant
  • Council of Flanders
  • Council of Namur
  • Abbeys of Kortenberg, Affligem, Averbode, Orval
  • Charters of the counts of Namur
  • Parish registers of various cities and municipalities
  • Cartularies of the city of Chièvres (1424-1600)
  • Abbey Stavelot-Malmedy (charters)
  • Charters of St. Lambert's Cathedral, Liège
  • Council of Troubles
  • ‘Penningkohieren Audiëntie’

Only a very limited part of the archival materials from the National Archives in Luxembourg has been digitized. This includes the charter collections of some abbeys (Echternach, Marienthal) in the Weimar fund.

In France, there are some archives of great importance for the history of the Low Countries. For example, the National Archives in Paris, which include the registers of the Parliament of Paris. More interesting are likely the departmental archives:

Many provincial and local archives in the Netherlands have digitized a part of their collection, but often this information can only be found through the inventories of the funds. The easiest access is through the general portal site: Archieven.nl, then searching for archival repositories and subsequently the archival funds. There is a lot to discover there. Some examples include:

For Belgium, there is no general access to local archives. However, a search on the websites of individual archives yields valuable results. For example:

  • Many medieval and early modern archival materials are digitized in the Brussels City Archive.
  • Thanks to the Itinera Nova project, a large part of Leuven's city accounts and all Leuven aldermen's registers (judiciary) are available online; the aldermen's registers are partially transcribed.
  • In the Antwerp Felix Archive, the beautiful charter collection is available online.
  • In the Archiefbank of Bruges, a significant part of the registers has been put online (criminal registers, confiscation accounts, orphan registers (from ca. 1400), civil sentences (from 1477), criminal sentences (from 1553), citizens' books (from 1418), resolution books (from 1535)).
  • Mechelen also has an Archiefbank.

For private archives in Flanders, there is a more general website, including inventories of parish archives.

A part of the Luxembourg City Archives is also digitally available.

The surviving registers and charters of the municipal government of the Flemish-French city of Lille are online. These date back to the eleventh century! See: Archives de Lille.

Surprisingly, much has been preserved for Middelburg as well. A summary publication with sources on governance, law, judiciary, church matters, poor relief, and the general history of the city from 1217 to 1574 can be found here.

3.3 Charters

Here you can find an overview of charters in the Netherlands, while a similar overview for Belgium can be found here. French charters (before 1121) are available here.

The Charter Book of North Brabant is accessible through this site, while you can find information on Burgundy here.

3.4 Images and heritage

The websites Europeana and Multilingual Inventory of Cultural Heritage in Europe (MICHAEL) provide excellent general access to cultural heritage throughout Europe.

For the Netherlands, you can visit Het Geheugen and the Collectie Nederland.

An excellent access point to Belgian images and heritage is the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, while for Flanders, Arthub Flanders can be visited. The University of Liège has also established an interesting access under the name DONum.

Focusing on material in manuscripts, you can search for Dutch libraries at Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts, for French libraries at Mandragore, and for those in the United Kingdom at the Catalogue of Illuminated Manscripts. In the United States, you can check Digital Scriptorium.

Members of the Royal Library (KB) have access to the Index of Medieval Art.

Additionally, there are specific sites for the Flemish Primitives, the Meuse region, and heraldic books. The site Heraldica Nova contains blog posts about armorials, and a part of these valuable sources is accessible online here. Descriptions of some important manuscripts can be found on Medieval Armorials.

Many museums have digitized parts of their collections. For example:

Interested in pottery, pans, buckles, and horseshoes? There is also digital access to archaeological finds in the Netherlands (PAN), covering all periods, including the Middle Ages.

4. Subfields

4.1 Economic and demographic data

The IISG (Amsterdam) provides a wealth of online data related to economic and demographic history. For an overview concerning the Netherlands, see here. However, it is worthwhile to browse through the overview.

For the development of wages and prices, see here.

The Sonttolregisters can be consulted here.

The website of the Hansischer Geschichtsverein provides a lot of interesting information (sources and literature) also about the Netherlands. This site also features editions of the Hansrecesse and the Hansische Urkundenbuch.

Prussian sources are often relevant to the Netherlands as well.

4.2 History of state institutions

The indispensable book by Robert Fruin, "Geschiedenis der Staatsinstellingen in Nederland tot den val der Republiek" (1901), is available through DBNL.

The Belgian repertories of government institutions, compiled from the 1990s onwards (Brabant, Flanders, Hainaut, Liège), can be purchased for 10 euros each via the website of the National Archives. These guides are essential for research on the institutions of the sovereign and of the cities and countryside in these regions. The repertory of central government institutions in the Netherlands (from 1477 onwards) also contains a wealth of crucial data.

This work combines various texts on the governance of Holland and includes conditions, testaments, reconciliation letters, and financial agreements from 1299 to 1567. It thereby presents an overview of the history of the County of Holland in broad strokes.

4.3 Literary history

The most important literary histories of (Middle Dutch) literature are available through DBNL (Van Oostrom, Pleij, Te Winkel, Van Mierlo).

Incipits of medieval texts can be found here (log in with KB or UB account). In principio provides an overview of incipits from approximately a million Latin texts, including those from the late Middle Ages.

The Library of Latin Texts contains numerous editions of important Latin texts from Antiquity and the Middle Ages (log in with KB or UB account).

The Verfasser-Datenbank also includes many medieval authors from the Low Countries. It can be queried from several scholarly libraries and the KB.

For the (literary) identification of medieval names, this repertory is interesting.

4.4 Historiography

Narrative Sources provides a more or less complete overview of all narrative medieval sources from the northern and southern Netherlands. It is entirely up-to-date and includes indications of manuscripts and secondary literature.

Here you will find a site with a broader geographical spread but with less historiographical material.

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle can be consulted online from several scholarly libraries.

For the period after 1500, the repertory by Haitsma Mulier and Van der Lem remains interesting.

4.5. Hagiographies (saints' lives)

Hagiographies can be found here.

4.6. Memorial books

This link provides access to various texts and objects that played a role in commemorating the dead in the Netherlands.

4.7. Church history

This site contains 'the collection of all Catholic available texts, declared of public knowledge, written in the main Christianity's languages.' The site offers an enormous overview of various sources related to Biblical, philosophical, and theological (Catholic) church sources (text of the Vulgate, acta sanctorum, etc.). The site also provides access to many other available series.

Bert Roest and Maarten van der Heijden (Nijmegen) have created a beautiful collection of websites and links centred around the Franciscan order. Their site is not specifically focused on the Netherlands. See here for broader links to the Middle Ages, work tools, bibliographies, etc.

The Index religiosus, among other heirs of the Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, is a broadly conceived bibliography for religious history. It is accessible through the KB website.

A beautiful site on the socio-economic and institutional church history of the Middle Ages is Contactgroep Signum.

Here, you can find a list of monasteries, outlying farms, chapters, etc. (up to 1800).

The Monasticon Trajectense is specifically focused on the monasteries of the Third Order.

The Huygens Institute has an overview of the church meetings (classes) of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on this website. These provide insight into the organization of the church, the training of ministers, the relationship between secular and ecclesiastical powers, the Reformation, and theological disputes.

For a beautiful monastery map, you can visit here.

4.8. Education and universities

A European overview of graduates can be found here. Also, a nice illustration of what is possible with data.

The matriculation registers of the Catholic University of Leuven - UNESCO World Heritage! - are searchable in the Brussels National Archives.

4.9. Bibles

For information on the origin, binding, illustrations, print types, translators, and printers of Bibles (especially in the Netherlands and Belgium), check out this website.

4.10. Legal historical sources (International)

This site on legal history contains many further references. Specifically for the Middle Ages, you can find information here. Also, see the (outdated) website of Jos Monballyu on the legal history of the Netherlands.

Many published sources can be found through this site. This site also provides useful information on the most important introductory studies for the field.

A research guide for the Parliament of Mechelen (from 1445) is available as an e-book for 10 euros at the General National Archives.

4.11. Women and gender

An index of articles, journals, reviews, and essays on women, sexuality, and gender can be found here.

Additionally, there is the Digital Women's Lexicon of the Netherlands, an online collection of remarkable women from the history of the Netherlands and overseas territories.

This website, WomenWriters, is a database with information about female authors from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century.

4.12. Revolt in the Netherlands

This website is not entirely our thing, but still quite nice. The site contains many references.

4.13. Water boards

Although it falls outside the Middle Ages, for a good overview of the state of hydraulic knowledge and water management practices around the sixteenth century, you can consult the source "Tractaet van dijckagie" Besides a general introduction to water boards, it also includes a glossary of hydraulic terms.

4.14. Trade and business

In this edition, you will find a large number of sources related to trade between the Netherlands and England, Scotland, and Ireland from the twelfth century to 1585. It includes charters, legal documents, and accounts from urban archives.

For sources on the history of trade with France from 753 to 1585, this publication is relevant. The material is diverse and includes charters, accounts, urban regulations, judicial judgments, and notarial deeds.

Here you will find a source edition about the toll of Iersekeroord, the oldest toll in Holland, from 1321 to 1572.

This source edition on the business and guild system of Amsterdam uses ordinance books, notarial protocols, and resolutions from the archives of mayors, guilds, and treasurers. With these sources, it is possible to gather information on the business life in Amsterdam, although only the first part captures the tail end of the Middle Ages.

This edition on the textile industry in Leiden from the early fourteenth to the end of the eighteenth century mainly contains documents from the Municipal Archives of Leiden. Here you will find information on government regulations, organization, production techniques, competition, protection of the Leiden textile industry, and working conditions.

4.15 Museums and medieval heritage

The Rijksmuseum van Oudheden primarily features objects from classical antiquity, the Ancient Near East, Egypt, and Nubia. Additionally, items from the medieval Low Countries are also on display. Admission is free for history students at Leiden University; don't forget to bring your student ID.

The Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht specializes in medieval religious art and culture, boasting an extensive collection of Christian artifacts. These range from medieval manuscripts, paintings, and sculptures to liturgical objects. You can search for specific items in their collection here.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam also houses numerous medieval artifacts. This link provides access to their online database, allowing you to search for specific items.

The Huis van het Boek in The Hague is the world's oldest book museum. The eCodicesNL project is currently working on a prototype for a Virtual Reading Room for Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections. Manuscripts from the Huis van het Boek can be found and viewed online through this search engine.

In the collection and depot of the Huis van Hilde (archaeology museum, North Holland province), discoveries spanning from prehistory to World War II can be found, see here.

The Muiderslot is a museum featuring various types of medieval objects, including paintings, sculptures, armor, swords, everyday items, books, and drawings. These objects can be found and viewed online through this search engine.

In the Krona Museum, part of an ancient abbey complex, religious art - late medieval sculptures, icons, prints, paintings, and manuscripts - from the Netherlands is displayed. A selection of their collection is available online.

The Fries Museum focuses on research about Friesland from the Middle Ages to the present. Explore their collection, which is accessible online.

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp has an extensive collection of national and international masters. You can find their collection here.

The Royal Library of Belgium is located in the center of Brussels and manages, among other things, medieval manuscripts, coins, prints, and drawings. Access to their collection is available through this link.

The collection of museum M Leuven concentrates on art production in Leuven and Brabant from the Middle Ages. More information about their collection can be found here.

5. Secondary literature

5.1 Heuristics

For the OPAC database tab, you can visit here.

The International Medieval Bibliography is accessible through the catalogue of the Leiden University Library.

The website of DBNG (a digital bibliography of the history of the Netherlands) has been inactive since 2021, but updates about the data can be found here. The Belgian historical bibliography is available here. Part of this overlaps with the PDF archive of the Belgian Journal of Philology and History (which contains many publications from 1952-2014).

A general keyword search on Google Scholar often yields unexpected results.

Literature about literary texts can be found on BNTL, while Gallica contains French texts (many journal articles).

5.2 Online accessible articles, blogs, and book reviews

Many journal articles can be found via JSTOR (though membership in a scientific library is required).

Some literature written by Dutch researchers is accessible via NARCIS. Here, databases of research data are also available. Although the website has been offline since 2023, the content is still available online at various institutions.

Many scientific libraries and the Dutch KB have a digital subscription to journal series – varying by the institution one is a member of. In some cases, digital material can only be consulted on-site.

Much French-language literature is available via Persée.

The Medieval Review contains a large number of book reviews in digital form.

For an interesting general site with articles and interesting facts about the Middle Ages, click here.

Among the blogs, we mention the Leiden Medievalists blog and a blog called "Man en paard" about the Burgundian Netherlands by Mario Damen.

5.3. Biographies

Various digital biographical repertories contain interesting material for the Netherlands in the late Middle Ages, such as an overview of individuals connected to the Burgundian court (Prosopographia Burgundica) or a Repertory of officeholders and officials for the modern Dutch territory (1428-1861).

The national biographies are not specifically focused on individuals from medieval Netherlands but naturally include many entries about medieval persons. The following portal offers general access, while the following entries are specific:

6. For Fun

Want to sign a typed letter in style? Click here.

Wondering what (medieval) money is worth in modern currency? Click here for a conversion tool or here for a purchasing power comparison (from guilder to euro).

For an inspiring video about the possibilities of modern digital techniques in historical research, click here.

Want to learn more about Dutch songs? In this database, you'll find love songs, psalms, and children's songs from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Sometimes there's even a melody or audio recording.

In the Dutch Folktales Database of the Meertens Institute, you'll find a collection of stories from the past and present, ranging from fairy tales, legends, and riddles to jokes.

  1. Paleography: General
  2. Manual for the description of manuscripts
  3. Watermarks
  4. Chronology
  5. Middle Dutch
  6. Medieval Latin
  7. Old French
  8. Middle High German / Early New High German
  9. Middle English
  10. Cartographic and Geographic Data
  11. Coins and Measures
  12. Arms and Seals

1. Paleography: General

On 'Wat staat daer?' and 'Paleo Digital Scholarship', you can practice reading old scripts, while a focus on book scripts can be found on this site.

Here, you can find an example alphabet of script types (login required), while Cappelli’s 'Abbreviature' is available here as a PDF. A real-time online variant is available here (login required).

Transkribus is a program for automatically transcribing handwritten texts, including those from the Middle Ages.

The Plantin-Moretus Museum doesn't entirely fall within our time period, but it does have a beautiful collection.

2. Manual for the description of manuscripts

You can find a manual for the description of manuscripts here.

3. Watermarks

Describing and identifying a watermark is a specialized skill but of crucial significance for dating and localizing texts. Various tools can assist researchers in this process:

2. Chronology

For this, you can turn to the digital 'Grotefend.' Additionally, you can find here a PDF version of a portion of Strubbe-Voet, The Chronology of the Middle Ages and Modern Times (1991).

3. Middle Dutch

Several dictionaries are available digitally:

For a Middle Dutch course, you can find resources here. An introduction to Middle Dutch in English can be found in the edition/translation of "Van den vos Reynaerde." A brief history of the Dutch language, with a focus on Middle Dutch, is available behind this link. A crash course in Middle Dutch in ten lessons is available online here.

There is also a series of MOOCs on Middle Dutch (and various other medieval topics).

On the etymology bank, you can find all important etymological publications of Dutch (often with links).

For spoken Middle Dutch texts, click here.

4. Medieval Latin

The following dictionaries are available digitally:

For research on medieval Latin texts, Lexicon Mediae Latinitatis is very useful. The website may appear a bit dated. On Logeion, various Latin dictionaries have been combined (including Du Cange, but also classical Latin – Dutch). This is a good addition to Lexicon Mediae Latinitatis. Brepols has something similar, but it is freely accessible and even has an iOS app!

Klassiekekuikens.nl can be used with any grammar of classical Latin as a starting point. See also the following list of specialized handbooks (login required). With the help of the website Latin Is Simple, it is possible to find all information, meanings, and possible forms of Latin words in one go.

5. Old French

The following dictionaries are available digitally:

For a grammar guide, click here.

6. Middle High German / Early New High German

The following dictionaries can be consulted digitally:

A grammar guide can be found here.

7. Middle English

For dictionaries, you can find resources here:

Texts with an introduction to grammar can be found here. This Wikipedia page also contains a lot of useful information about the character and history of Middle English.

8. Cartographic and Geographic Data

A digital, editable map of large parts of the Netherlands is available through the IISG. Editing files has a steep learning curve, but the possibilities are extensive! Suddenly, (literally) new dimensions are added to research. Various datasets are already available. A tutorial is provided for those who want to learn GIS techniques. Specifically for Brabant, there is the following dataset. "Kaart en Huis" provides a beautiful overview of the possibilities of GIS technology for research and presentation, in this case focusing on Bruges. The National Geo-Register also offers a digital representation of the roads and waterways of the Netherlands in 1575 – a bit late but still interesting!

Cartesius contains an overview of ready-made Belgian maps. Nice interface! Here and here, you can find a digital atlas of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Alternatively, it's always possible to search via Wikipedia and Google.

For an analog searchable version of Graesse’s Orbis latinus, a dictionary of Latin place names, you can visit this site. For a digital version, you should go here. A useful tool for searching places worldwide is the World Historical Gazetteer.

Viabundus offers a digitized map of late medieval and early modern Northern Europe (1350 – 1650). It includes a database with information about settlements, cities, tolls, markets, and other information relevant to the pre-modern traveller: a route calculator, a calendar, land routes, and waterways.


An article by Rombert Stapel addresses the current status regarding GIS-based historical maps of the Netherlands.

9. Coins and Measures

The values of coins and exchange rates constitute a notoriously complex research field. The IISG provides an overview for the Netherlands (14th-19th century). Older sources for coin values can be found here, here (MEMDB), and here.

Images of Dutch coins are available in Numis, the collection of the former coin museum, now managed by De Nederlandsche Bank.

Dutch measures and weights, based on Verhoef, "De oude Nederlandse maten en gewichten" (1983), can be found at the Meertens Institute. Familiekunde Vlaanderen has digitized Vandewalles’s "Oude maten en gewichten" (1984). Here, you can find measures and weights for Flanders, Brabant, and Limburg.

10. Arms and Seals

Still useful is J.-Th. De Raadt, "Sceaux armoriés" (1899-1903), of which the four parts are available as PDF: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.

The two volumes of J.B. Rietstap, "Armorial général," are also available as PDF: volume 1 and volume 2.

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