The Digital Bibliography of the History of the Netherlands originates from a joint project of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of the Netherlands and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (Huygens ING). Its core is the Repertorium Geschiedenis Nederland, maintained by ING Huygens, expanded with a selection of works from (book)historical records from the KB and the university libraries of Amsterdam and Utrecht. This service has two main features. First, unwanted duplication in the search results is prevented, because works that appear in different source data are merged into one single title. Also, the unique titles from different databases are presented as a whole. Furthermore, the (unexperienced) researcher profits from useful tools like a timeline and geographical maps to formulate research questions.
The bibliography currently contains over 200,000 works, which makes it the most important portal to Dutch historiography currently available. The DBNG is an essential source for research on a wide range of aspects from the history of the Netherlands. Also, it serves as the starting point to a wider platform for cooperation between libraries and research institutes and their historical-bibliographical information systems.


The Digital Bibliography of the History of the Netherlands is an easily accessible digital question point. To the wide audience of students and all those interested in history it offers low-level access to historical content. Professional users benefit from a sophisticated, advanced search facility that quickly returns high quality results.


The core of the DBNG is based on the 'Repertorium Geschiedenis Nederland', which has been fully integrated. Also from a number of different data files a selection on the history of the Netherlands has been added. In the future more files will be included in the DBNG. If you would like to contribute you are kindly invited to contact us.
  • Bibliographic activities Huygens ING
    Since 1989 the national historical bibliography of the Netherlands, published in print under various names between 1863 and 1995, has been the responsibility of the Huygens ING. Between 1995-2008 it was published online as Repertorium Geschiedenis Nederland (RGN). Because of a huge retrodigitization effort all publications mentioned in the printed editions from 1940 onwards have been added to the databank. In 2010 articles from the most important pre-1940 historical periodicals were also included in the bibliography. Currently this databank, consisting of almost 200.000 titles, constitutes the core of the DBNG and is daily updated.
  • Short-Title Catalogue, Netherlands (STCN)
    The retrospective national bibliography of the Netherlands 1540-1800. An ongoing project that consists of catalogue entries of all books that were published in this period in the Netherlands and all books in Dutch that were published abroad. The works in this databank produced by historians (about 6,000 titles) have been included in the DBNG. New titles in the STCN that meet our conditions are automatically imported into the DBNG.
  • Bibliopolis
    Bibliopolis is the electronic national history of the printed book in the Netherlands. It is a scientific, interactive information system that allows researchers to get an up-to-date overview of research on book history and also offers access to documentary papers. Secondary sources on the history of the printed book in the Netherlands in Bibliopolis - about 14,000 titles - have been fully integrated into the DBNG.
  • Historie in Titles (HinT)
    A closed bibliographic database of publications about Western European history from appr. 1500 to the end of 2004. It was originally hosted by the University of Amsterdam, but has recently been transferred to OCLC. Appr. 15,000 publications in HinT, relating to the Netherlands, have been adopted by the DBNG.
  • ANG Dutch History Tool
    Gateway to the most important scientific literature in the field of the history of the Netherlands. ANG is an ongoing project. All 550 titles have been included in the DBNG. The merging of these files resulted in a broader coverage of publications on the history of the Netherlands. Titles that occur in more than one file have been singularized as much as possible. Since this is mainly done automatically, some mistakes may have slipped through.
  • Bibliography 'Nederlands Centrum voor Rechtshistorische Documentatie en Rechtsiconografie'
    Databank containing about 55,000 catalogue records on old-Dutch, Roman, canonical and other European law, as far as these have been of importance to the development of Dutch, Surinam, Antillian, South-African, Indonesian law (and other colonial law), that is if they have been influenced by old-Dutch law to some extent. In the DBNG appr. 36,000 records have been adopted. In this file there may be some doubles by mistake.

International cooperation Huygens ING

Ever since 2007, at the initiative of the Jahresberichte für Deutsche Geschichte (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften), annual meetings have been held on national historical bibliographies. The DBNG has also participated in these conferences. Apart from sharing experiences and evaluating the role of bibliographies in a rapidly changing internet environment, the ambition is also - in a few years' time - to create a shared website. See the participating bibliographies at:
  • Jahresberichte für deutsche Geschichte
  • Bibliography of British and Irish History
  • Irish History Online
  • Österreichische Historische Bibliographie
  • Literaturdokumentation zur Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas
  • Dansk Historisk Bibliografi
  • Historische Bibliographie
  • Bibliografia Historii Polskiej
  • Lietuvos Istorijos Bibliografija
  • Bibliographie der Schweizergeschichte
  • Humanus (Hongarije)
  • Bibliographie zur Zeitgeschichte
  • Bibliografie dejin Ceských zemí
  • Bibliografia Storica Nazionale
  • Bibliographie annuelle de l'histoire de France


The amount of publications on the history of the Netherlands in libraries or on the internet is enormous and growing faster than ever before. To try to keep up with this emerging bulk, the DBNG staff at the Huygens ING use different methods:
  • Depot of Dutch Publications at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague. Nearly all Dutch publishers donate a copy of every book or periodical they publish to the Depot. The DBNG staff selects all publications that relate to the history of the Netherlands.
  • going through a precomposed (but changing) list of periodicals in search of articles that relate to the history of the Netherlands. Also, based on references, occassionally other periodicals are consulted (see 'snowball method').
  • going through list of publications by historians (or professionals in related fields) working at Dutch universities, the so-called metis lists.
  • the 'snowball method'. In the publications that are consulted there are sometimes references to important publications that are not yet present in the DBNG. These are included retrospectively.
All national historical bibliographies encounter challenges in defining the scope of their 'own' history and respond to this in their own ways. For the DBNG the history of the Netherlands, in a geographical sense, relates first and foremost to all published material in the territory of the present-day Netherlands, other parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and former colonies. It also involves the deeds and ideas of the Dutch - also encompassing the era that 'the Netherlands' as such did not yet exist (Erasmus, Geert Grote) - and includes foreigners that played an important role in the history of the Netherlands like e.g. Justus Lipsius, René Descartes or Louis Napoleon. Thirdly, our definition of 'the history of the Netherlands' also entails the involvement and influence of the Netherlands, the Dutch or Dutch culture with developments and events outside the current geographical borders.
It is impossible to include everything that is published within this extensive scope in the DBNG. Due to limited staff resources, a selection is unavoidable. The main criterion for adoptation is that the source meets generally accepted scientific standards. Minimum requirements are valid references and embedding of the subject in its historical context. Also, the following exceptions and elaborations are applicable:
  • publications on historical theory, methodology and historiographical overviews are included, providing they relate to Dutch historiography, or refer - mainly - to examples from the history of the Netherlands.
  • publications in the field of related scientific disciplines, like e.g. archeaology, politicology, sociology, art history, etnology, economy, are included, providing they have been written from a historical perspective.
  • in case of subdisciplines like e.g. genealogy, heraldry, diplomacy, numismatics, only those publications are admitted that provide a wide historical context.
  • publications mainly focusing on local and anecdotal history, without a view to the broader context or applicability of the subject matter, are not included.
  • primary information resources are only included as long as they have been adapted or published for the purpose of historical research. Minimal requirement is an introduction that elaborates on the background and meaning of the source involved for historical research.
  • interviews that have been published (oral history) are included providing they have been conducted on the basis of transparant and documented research methods and are presented within a historical context.
  • new editions of publications that were included earlier on are not included in case of unaltered reprints or paperback editions. Works with (republished) collected articles are submitted as a whole; the separate articles are not added.
  • submitted articles should at least consist of five text pages or about 2,000 words.
  • articles in collected works are separately included if the contibutions have been written by separate authors and are clearly distinguishable as individual texts.
  • articles in reference literature (biographical dictionaries, handbooks, lexica, repertoria and historical encyclopedia) are not separately included; reference works are processed as monographies.
  • reviews of or commentaries on publications are only included if they are presented as independent contributions with a broader research context. (commentaries or review articles).

Coverage and topicality

The method described above garantuees that the coverage density in the DBNG on high quality research to all aspects of the history of the Netherlands is very high. Geographical diversity is maintained by including high quality periodicals that focus on the history of a specific city or region. This is also the case with periodicals that specifically aim at individual aspects of the history of the Netherlands, like cartography, history of science or maritime history.

In case of monographies and collected articles the bibliography is up-to-date. For periodicals this is unfortunately not always the case. The bibliography includes articles from periodicals that were published at least one year before. In some cases there is a backlog of one or two years. You can find out more about the ingesting stage in 'notes', after you have searched for a specific periodical.

Due to the transformation from printed to online publication, conversion of the thesaurus and internal reorganization of working processes during 2000-2005 some periodicals from that period have not been processed yet.


Apart from the mainstream work, adding works on the history of the Netherlands, the DBNG aims to benefit from the new possibilities that internet offers. The rapid developments from the last few years provide unique possiblities to transform the DBNG to an important information gateway on the history of the Netherlands. Within the limitations of the financial and organizational framework, our focus will be on the following two targets in particular:
  • linking with electronic text files, like internet publications, articles in periodicals and summaries. From strictly bibliographical information links are made - ideally - to the text of the article or the monography. In some cases this text will appear on your screen instantly. These are publications that have been digitized by the Huygens ING itself, or the ones that are publicly available. However, in most cases, it is required to have a personal or institutional subscription to a library or other institution that provides access to these files on the internet.
  • linking with biographical files. Mainly this refers to data that have been created by the Huygens ING itself, like for instance the 'Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland', the 'Digitaal Vrouwenlexicon' and the digitized version of the 'Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek'. This way the DBNG is enriched with biographical information and also the bibliographical data in the biographical files is kept up-to-date by using the DBNG.


This website is a joint initiative of Huygens Institute of Netherlands History and Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of the Netherlands. The last few years both organizations have developed the website with financial support of Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The bibliographical work is done by the staff of Huygens ING, consisting of:
  • Editorial board
    Sebastiaan Derks and Ronald Sluijter
  • Bibliographical support
    Ger Ruigrok, Marielle Scherer and Marlein Sopers

Contributors to the development of this website are: Bas von Benda-Beckmann (Huygens ING), Sebastiaan Derks (Huygens ING), Yolanda Huntelaar (KB), Eric van der Meulen (KB), Marco de Niet (KB), Liesbeth Oskamp (KB), Ger Ruigrok (Huygens ING), Ron van der Schee (KB), Reinder Storm (KB), Theo van Veen (KB), Garrelt Verhoeven (KB), Hilde van Wijngaarden (KB)

This version of the website was created by Ibuildings.


  • Digital Bibliography of the history of the Netherlands
  • Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of the Netherlands,
    PO Box 90407, 2509 LK The Hague, Netherlands
    Huygens Institute of Netherlands History,
    PO Box 90755, 2509 LT The Hague, Netherlands
  • Sebastiaan Derks and Ronald Sluijter
    Editorial Board
    Tel: + 31 (0)70 3156 447
    Fax: +31 (0)70 3854 098