Mapping Notes and Nodes in Networks: Exploring potential relationships in biographical data and cultural networks in the creative industry in Amsterdam and Rome in the Early Modern Period

C.M.J.M. van den Heuvel, Leonor Alvarez Frances

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Abstract

Here we report on the outcomes of the private-public project Mapping Notes and Nodes in Networks, funded by the Dutch Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), in which Leonor Álvarez Francés as an embedded researcher experimented with Pim van Bree and Geert Kessels of LAB1100 for nine months for one day per week with the software NODEGOAT to create multi-layered networks of actors and documents that are potential relevant for the history of the creative industry in Amsterdam and Rome in the Early Modern Period.
The project started with the integration of three complementary, but heterogeneous (meta)datasets: the full text searchable Biographical Reference Works of the Huygens Institute ING, ECARTICO, a comprehensive database compiled by Marten Jan Bok and Harm Nijboer of the University of Amsterdam that allows analysing and visualising data concerning painters, art consumers, art collectors, art dealers and others involved in the cultural industry of Amsterdam and the Low Countries in the Early Modern Period and finally HADRIANUS, a database of Dutch artists and scholars from the Middle Ages up the 20th Century that stayed in Rome developed by the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). However, several researchers who heard of the initiative offered their own sets. 1 We embraced this rather arbitrary selection of sources to complement our three initial datasets for practical and theoretical reasons. First of all, this approach seems to reflect the way (digital) humanists assemble information on the basis of rather pragmatic criteria such as time, money and availability of data. If complete data-integration is impossible, a tool that on the basis of meta data enables to assess the likelihood that one combination might lead to better results than another, could at least support prioritizing the digitization program necessary for research. The second, theoretical argument is that the proposed incremental approach with changing perspectives on data in flux stands closer to hermeneutic methods. Such methods appeal to many humanities scholars who try to give sense to data from multiple perspectives in continuous processes of reinterpretation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEindrapport KNAW PPS project
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • network analysis and visualisation; cultural industry; Amsterdam; Rome; digital humanities, humanities methods;

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