The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands is seeking proposals for its Researcher-in-residence program to start in 2017. 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 2016, about 15% of this enormous task was completed, either from the KB itself or via public-private partnerships as Google Books and ProQuest. Over 20 million book-, newspaper- and magazine papers are currently available via the search portal The project will be carried out in the Research Department of the KB and there will be two consecutive placements in 2017.

Who are we looking for?

Early career researchers who are:

  • PhD-students that are in their final stages of their PhD project or researchers that have obtained their PhD between 2011 and 2016
  • 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 2017 or Jul – Dec 2017) and able to spend at least 1 day a week at the KB.

What can we offer you?

  • A secondment with the KB for 0,5 fte for a period of 6 months based on your current salary
  • 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

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. The KB Research Department currently focuses on research projects that improve, enrich, connect and analyse our data by using techniques and methods from the domains of Information Retrieval (IR), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML). We encourage you to define your project by:

  1. formulating a fundamental research question that stems from your field of expertise and that can be linked to the applied techniques at the KB Research Department,
  2. formulating a project that is different from the previous executed Researcher in Residence projects that can be found on our blog.

For more inspiration also take a look at the previously submitted proposals on our blog: here, here, here and here.

How do I apply?

Fill out this form before 31 August 2016 to submit your project, after having read carefully our terms and conditions. The form contains the following elements: details, project description (including research question, theoretical background and applied methods and techniques), outcomes, work plan, personal background, your availability in 2017 and a checkbox on our terms and conditions.

Before you start working on your proposal, we encourage you take a look at the form so you will be able to fill it out in the most efficient manner.

Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions of this call and agree to them.

All proposals will first be reviewed by an internal KB committee and then forwarded to an external committee of representative experts from several Dutch universities and institutions that consists of:

  • prof. dr. Franciska de Jong, Erasmus University Rotterdam & Clarin
  • prof. dr. Sally Wyatt, eHumanities & Maastricht University
  • prof. dr. Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Huygens ING & University of Amsterdam
  • prof. dr. Joris van Eijnatten, Utrecht University
  • prof. dr. Maarten de Rijke, University of Amsterdam
  • prof. dr. Marcel Broersma, University of Groningen
  • Prof. dr. Emiel Krahmer, University of Tilburg
  • Prof. dr. Hilde de Weerdt, University of Leiden
  • Prof. dr. Arjen de Vries, Radboud University

All entries will be judged on:

  • Originality and quality
  • Link with techniques and methods currently applied at the KB Research Department (Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning)
  • Feasibility (technically, legally and practically)
  • How the KB data will be showcased and used
  • Whether the end results are of use for a wider community

You will be notified of the outcome of this call in October 2016.

For answer to more questions, read our FAQ. Please also read the terms of this call and placement.

Respondents are strongly advised to contact in advance of proposal submission to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and KB support with the Digital Humanities team, consisting of Lotte Wilms, Steven Claeyssens, Martijn Kleppe, Juliette Lonij and Willem Jan Faber.