Selection criteria

For Early Dutch Books Online a selection was made of old books from the period 1781 to1800. This selection has been based on the content and practical criteria. For example, books printed in Gothic letters are left out of the selection, because the Optical Character Recognition of this letter doesn't have the desired result.

When the project started, some criteria were established. Not only was the period between 1781 and 1800 very interesting from a Dutch historic standpoint, the books are also very suitable for digitization as regards to their typography. The point in time when books were no longer printed in Gothic typeface but in Roman typeface lies roughly in the final quarter of the seventeenth century for the Netherlands. In the eighteenth century, the 'modern' (Roman) type gradually became more predominant. Material printed in Roman is much more suitable for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) than the Gothic material. This is why material printed in the Netherlands in the eighteenth century was selected for this project. Within the eighteenth century, the project limits itself to the period 1781-1800 for the time being. The change to Roman script was as good as completed by then.


Books categorized in the Short Title Catalogue Netherlands (STCN) consist for a third of governmental publications, academic publications (mainly in Latin) and occasional poems. The interest in these categories is normally not very large. The remaining part, the so called regular works, consists of historical, political, theological, and literary works. This is where this project concentrates on. The majority of the searches by scientist in the STCN focuses on these works.


The emphasis lies on 'Dutch material', in other words, printed in the Netherlands or treating of the Netherlands. The Dutch language cannot be employed as a strict selection criterion. Before 1800 books weren't always printed in Dutch. Universities used Latin, the court spoke French. That is why the project includes both Dutch and French materials.