The development of digital infrastructures and digitization of academic and cultural heritage collections require huge investments that only can be legitimized by the (re-)use of their big data and by demonstrating their societal relevance. How can these infrastructures and big data often be created for a future, yet unknown audience in mind be best prepared for use and of reuse in individual and collaborative historical research? To answer that question the expectations and experiences with two projects will be discussed. The first project Golden Agents Creative Industries and the Making of the Dutch Golden Age (2017-2022) focuses on the needs and challenges for creating an infrastructure to bring distributed cultural heritage collections together for research. The second project Virtual Interiors as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research. Spatially Enhanced Publications (September 2018-2022) that uses data of Golden Agents can be seen as an experiment with interfaces to bring the idea of the Amsterdam Time Machine further. Both projects started off to answer different research questions about creative industries of the Dutch Golden Age. How can they be adapted for reuse as instruments for a more critical investigation of this period now this term becomes more and more contested?