Using Linked Data to track and trace processes of canonization in early modern Dutch literature


This article is about a pilot project in which we linked five web resources in order to get a firmer grip on processes of canonization in Dutch literature in the early eighteenth century. The project centers around the Panpoëticon Batavûm, an early eighteenth century portrait gallery of Dutch writers, initiated by the painter Arnoud van Halen (1673-1732) and continued by others. This hall of fame provides an early example of the historical canonization of Dutch writers. As a collection the Panpoëticon is no longer intact, but it has been digitally reconstructed as a website. We created a RDF representation of this website and combined these data with data derived from the DBNL, Ecartico, Onstage and the Short Title Catalogue Netherlands. Using these combined data sets we investigate whether the Panpoëticon reflects the popularity of playwrights in the Amsterdam Theatre and vice versa, but we also address potential geographical and sociocultural biases in the Panpoëticon. Besides generating new insights in processes of canonization in early modern Dutch literature, this article aims to provide a working example of the synergy that can be achieved by combining multiple data sets using Semantic Web technology.

Digital Humanities Benelux journal