This one-day conference was devoted to various aspects of the influence of the thousands of immigrants from the Low Countries who settled in Norfolk in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Six papers were given on subjects including language, literature, art and correspondence. These will be published in a special edition of Dutch Crossing in 2014. The ALCS very kindly offered a number of bursaries to postgraduates who wanted to attend the conference. Siobhán Higgins, a doctoral candidate at University College Cork, received one of the bursaries. Amongst the attendees at the conference was Mr. Geert de Proost, the Representative of the Government of Flanders in the UK. I would also like to thank him and the Dutch Ambassador for their generous support of the conference.
During the summer of 2012, the ALCS supported Leeds lecturer Christopher Joby to conduct research in Cambridge and London. Joby writes:
Funding received from the ALCS allowed me to make a number of research visits during Summer 2012. One of these was to Cambridge University Library which houses a good deal of material in and on early modern Dutch. I made another visit to London, where I was able to consult material at the British Library, the Dutch Church at Austin Friars and the London Metropolitan Archive, which houses archive material from the Dutch Church. This allowed me to complete an article on Constantijn Huygens which has now been published, to write an article on Dutch poetry in Norfolk, which I have just completed, and consult material which I shall use in a forthcoming book on the history of the Dutch language in early modern Britain.
In May 2012, Higgins was able to spend a week in London conducting research for her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Britain’s Bourse: Cultural and Intellectual Transmissions between the Low Countries and Britain in the Early Modern Era.”
Thanks to the generosity of the Association of Low Countries Studies, I was able to spend a week in London conducting research for my doctoral dissertation, entitled “Britain’s Bourse: Cultural and Intellectual Transmissions between the Low Countries and Britain in the Early Modern Era.”
I was able to consult materials in the British Library and in the British National Archives not available to me in Ireland. These included seventeenth century English military maps of garrison towns in the Netherlands, Dutch church records of the English military churches, official and personal correspondence between the English governors of Brill and Dutch officials and many rare books and articles only available at these locations. I also found many other unexpected sources such as personal letters from family members of English military personnel stationed in the Netherlands which provided me with additional information about Anglo-Dutch cultural exchanges in the Netherlands.
Many of the primary sources I consulted made me aware of very useful sources held in Dutch archives and I will be able to consult these during a research trip to the Netherlands in June 2012.
I also made some valuable contacts while there and was put in contact with one of the leading Anglo-Dutch historians who specialises in my field. I was also able to avail of tutorials from an expert palaeographer who aided me in perfecting my transcription and translation of the many important palaeographic sources I am consulting.
I achieved a considerable amount during this trip to London and I am extremely grateful to the Association of Low Countries Studies for providing me with that opportunity. The research I conducted, the contacts that I made and the skills I acquired are indispensable in the writing of my thesis and I am indebted to the Association of Low Countries Studies in this regard.
In March/April 2012, Joby was able to visit the Netherlands for research on his book about multilingualism in the Netherlands in the early modern period.
This visit allowed me to do a number of things related to my research projects and teaching of Dutch. I was able to check a number of primary and secondary sources, and consult a number of Dutch academics, for a book I am writing on multilingualism in the Netherlands in the early modern period. I am now able to write a final version of this book, which I shall then submit to a publisher.
I am also doing research into the use of Dutch in early modern Britain and I was able to consult a number of sources on this subject, which are not available in the UK. During my time in the Netherlands, I was able to consult a number of sources for a paper I am writing on the use of English in academic Dutch. I shall present this paper at the IVACS conference in June 2012.
I continued to progress a project involving the translation into English of poems and plays by Joost van Vondel. I am working with two Dutch academics on this project and we were able to meet a number of times to review and improve translations of Vondel’s play Zungchin and his poem, Mysteries of the Altar (Altaer-geheimenissen). Finally, being in the Netherlands allowed me to practise my Dutch and to keep up-to-date with developments in the language, as well as acquiring new Dutch-language resources for use in my Dutch classes.
In short, I managed to achieve a number of goals during my visit to the Netherlands and am very grateful to the ALCS for their financial support for this visit.
In September/December 2011 Gavaghan was able to visit the Netherlands for her PhD research on identity construction in seventeenth-century Dutch portraits.
Thanks to the generosity of the Association for Low Countries Studies, I was able to spend three months in the Hague, the Netherlands (September – December 2011) working on my doctoral thesis entitled ‘The Family Picture: A Study of Identity Construction in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Portraits.’ During this period of research and study, I was able to take advantage of libraries, archives, and museums in the Netherlands. I had access to library resources not normally available to me at the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (Netherlands Institute for Art History) and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands). The Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie is one of the most important art-historical information centres for the study of Dutch art with a special collection of documentary, library, and archival materials. One of the unique features of this centre is their collection of boxes of portrait images. I searched through the portrait boxes for family portraits, and from this created a database of the family portraits in the collection from 1625-1700, along with finding relevant images for my research.
I also had the opportunity to visit museums and archives during this trip. In particular, I visited the Regionaal Archief (Regional Archive) in Leiden while doing research on the Backer family, who were from Amsterdam. In particular, I looked at a letter and a collection of writings concerning a dispute between the Backer and de la Court families over their family portraits and papers. In researching another Amsterdam family, the van Loons, I had the chance to visit the Van Loon Museum and meet with the curator. We viewed several books devoted to tracing the family’s lineage, all of which had been written by members of the family. One text of specific interest to me, written by Nicolaas van Loon, was an in-depth lineage tracing the family’s connection to various noble and gentry families. Included in the manuscript were various portraits of significant family members as well.
These library, collection, and archival visits have been indispensable to improving, building, and realising my thesis research and I am incredibly grateful for the support that the ALCS has offered me in this endeavour.