Collective organisation of knowledge in the early phase of the Dutch-Friesian dairy industry (c. 1880-1914)

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    During the latter quarter of the nineteenth century, science and technology opened up new possibilities to dairy farmers. Improved techniques for measuring the fat percentage of milk and new mechanical production processes had a considerable influence on the system of dairy production. However, knowledge was essential to make the most of these opportunities. Historians have offered various explanations for the implementation of a knowledge infrastructure within pre-existing dairy networks. Some studies have emphasized the role of individual actors, while others focused on the influence of cooperative structures. This article contributes to the latter and adds a geographical dimension to the organizational history of dairy knowledge. Based on research in archives and newspapers, it investigates two knowledge institutions in the Dutch province of Friesland: a dairy consultancy and a dairy school, both founded in 1889. The article concludes that the implementation of knowledge institutions was encouraged by the interplay between regional initiatives and national economic policies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-118
    JournalHistoria Agraria
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • knowledge institutes
    • agricultural history
    • institutional change


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