KB Research

Research at the National Library of the Netherlands

Month: September 2015

Call for proposals KB Researcher-in-residence

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands is seeking proposals for its Researcher-in-residence program. This program offers a chance to early career researchers to work in the library with the Digital Humanities team and KB data. In return, we learn how researchers use the data of the KB. Together we will address your research question in a 6 month project using the digital collections of the KB and computational techniques. The output of the project will be incorporated in the KB Research Lab and is ideally beneficial for a larger (scholarly) community.

The KB and digitisation

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands  is a research library with a broad collection in the fields of Dutch history, culture and society, and as a national library collects and stores all (digital) publications that appear in the Netherlands, as well as a part of the international publications about the Netherlands. The KB has planned to have digitised and OCRed its entire collection of books, periodicals and newspapers from 1470 onward by the year 2030. Already in 2013, 10% of this enormous task was completed, resulting in 73 million digitised pages, either from the KB itself or via public-private partnerships as Google Books and ProQuest. Over 1 million books, newspapers and magazines are currently available via the search portal www.delpher.nl.


The project will be carried out in the Research Department of the KB and there will be two consecutive placements in 2016.

Who are we looking for?

Early career researchers who are:

  • PhD-students or have obtained their PhD between 2010 and 2015,
  • Employed at a university or research institute in the EU,
  • Interested in using one (or more) of the digital collections of the KB,
  • Available for 0.5 fte over a period of 6 months (Jan – Jun 2016 or Jul – Dec 2016) and able to spend at least 1 day a week at the KB.

What can we offer you?

  • A secondment with the KB,
  • Access to all data sets of the KB,
  • An office space,
  • Travel costs within the Netherlands,
  • Support from a programmer, collection and data specialists.

Which collections do we have?

You can use any digital collection of the KB and even combine it with an external collection, if copyright allows. Several of our digitised collections are described in more detail on our website, such as the parliamentary papers and the medieval illuminated manuscripts.

You can also browse through our collection of more than 1 million newspapers, magazines, radio bulletins and books on Delpher.nl.

What kind of projects are we looking for?

We’re open to all kinds of projects that use our data and benefit your research and other users of the KB and/or the KB Research Lab. Read our blog for more inspiration.

One of the previous Researchers-in-residence has worked on a best practice method for concept searching using keyword generation. Another team has worked on creating a data set that makes image similarity search a real possibility for all photos in our digitised historical newspapers.

For answer to more questions, read our FAQ. Please also read the terms of this call and placement. Respondents are urged to contact dh@kb.nl in advance of proposal submission to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and KB support with the Digital Humanities team.

How do I apply?

Fill out this form before 1 8 November 2015 to submit your project. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions of this call and agree to them. You will be notified of the outcome in December.

FAQ KB Researcher-in-residence

I don’t live or work in the Netherlands. Can I apply?
Probably! Contact us at dh@kb.nl and we’ll discuss your options.

I want to use my own dataset. Is that possible?
Sure! As long as you also use one of the sets of the KB and it doesn’t limit the publication of the project end results.

I don’t know how to code, is that a problem?
Not at all. We have skilled programmers who can help you with your project or we will try to find a match for you if you prefer someone else. This would mean submitting as a team and will cut the budget in half. Reach out to us to discuss the options.

I don’t speak Dutch. Is your content still interesting to me?
That depends on your research question :) It might not be so appealing to linguists, but could offer an novel collection for computer scientists. Contact us to see which collections we have and we can discuss what might be the most interesting set for you.

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Terms and conditions of the KB Researcher-in-residence programme

This programme as detailed at the KB-website (“Programme”) is operated by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands (“KB”), Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5 (2509 LK) Den Haag, The Netherlands.

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“FoCon – Foto’s in en uit context” door dr. Martijn Kleppe

Deze blogpost is geschreven door dr. Martijn Kleppe en is herblogt van www.martijnkleppe.nl (17 april 2015). Sinds publicatie zijn enkele zaken binnen het onderzoek aangepast. Binnenkort schrijft Martijn hierover een uitgebreidere, Engelstalige blog.

Sinds 1 april ben ik voor een half jaar ‘onderzoeker te gast’ op de onderzoeksafdeling van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek om te werken aan mijn project ‘FoCon – Foto’s in en uit context’. Het is een erg leuke kans omdat ik de ruimte krijg om de digitale kranten– en tijdschriftencollectie alsmede het webarchief van de KB te verkennen waarbij ik me vooral richt op het gepubliceerde beeldmateriaal.

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Digitale “eerste drukken”

Deze blog is geschreven door Barbara Sierman

Voor een papieren eerste druk van een werk worden vaak hoge bedragen neergeteld. Maar hoe zit dat met digitaal? Kun je dan ook van een “eerste druk” spreken? Digitaal materiaal is immers snel te verspreiden en makkelijk aan te passen. Wie bepaalt die “eerste druk”?
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De Keepers Extra meeting

Deze post is geschreven door Barbara Sierman

De Keepers Registry is een database, waarin de instellingen die digitale wetenschappelijke tijdschriften voor de lange termijn toegankelijk houden, hun titelinformatie en bijbehorende holdings aanleveren. Op deze manier weet je van welk tijdschrift de duurzame toegankelijkheid gegarandeerd wordt en door wie. Instellingen als de Library of Congress, Portico, CLOCKSS en de National Science Library in China sturen, net als de KB, hun informatie toe. De dekkingsgraad is volgens Peter Burnhill, oprichter van de Keepers Registry op dit moment zo’n 17%. We zijn er dus nog lang niet en dat is een risico voor de wetenschap, die immers voortbouwt op eerder verschenen werk en afhankelijk is van de toegang daartoe.
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