Datasets - Guilds - The Netherlands - Journeymen's Boxes

Description of the database


The journeymen’s boxes-database has been made using Microsoft Access® 2003. Sandra Bos composed this database for her dissertation at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) '"Uyt liefde tot malcander": onderlinge hulpverlening binnen de Noord-Nederlandse gilden in internationaal perspectief (1570-1820)' (1998). The database consists of five sub datasets. The first main dataset is called ‘Boxes’. It contains all central information on guild boxes and mutual benefit associations established in the period approximately between 1500 and 1820 in the Northern Netherlands. For this dataset all current Dutch provinces have been researched, except for Limburg, part of Noord-Brabant and for obvious reasons the Flevopolder. With a one-to-many relationship the ‘Main table’ links to the other tables: the sub-tables ‘Nature of the box’, ‘Products’ and ‘Analyzed Remarks’ and to the sub-table ‘Caisses de secours et de prévoyance’. A single box in the ‘Main table’ can refer to several records, for example in the members or product tables, because the box can have different types of members and products. Conversely, these different types of members or products link up to only one box, because they are specific to that box.

The sub-table ‘Caisses de secours et de prévoyance’ constitutes of a complete sub dataset in itself, with  a ‘Main Table’ linking to the sub-tables ‘Members’ and ‘Products’. The tables ‘Members’ and ‘Products’ have a many-to-one relationship with the ‘Main Table’. A box in the ‘Main Table’ can relate to multiple types of members and products in their linked tables. These members and products are specific for that box, thus they only relate to one box in the ‘Main Table’. The dataset 'Caisses' is an Access database created on the basis of the source ‘Caisses de secours et de prévoyance’, an 1812 French questionnaire. Nico Slokker gathered the data from different municipal and state archives throughout the Netherlands and made a first compilation of the database. He used the data for his MA thesis 'Ziekengeldkassen in Nederland, 1812-1930. Een onderzoek naar de omvang, betekenis, en funkties van Nederlandse ziekengeldkassen in Nederland’ (Utrecht University,1992). Sandra Bos completed the dataset, naming it ‘Caisses’ and used it as a basis for the compilation of the dataset ‘Boxes’. Both datasets were compiled for her dissertation at the IISH (International Institute of Social History) '"Uyt liefde tot malcander": onderlinge hulpverlening binnen de Noord-Nederlandse gilden in internationaal perspectief (1570-1820)' (1998).

Even though some information found in ‘Caisses’ can also be found in ‘Boxes’, we have chosen to integrate the ‘Caisses de secours et de prévoyance’  in total in a subdataset, because it provides more detailed information than the ‘Boxes’ dataset. Especially, more detailed information can be found on (specific amounts of) benefits and methods of administration (though this column is not complete). The ‘Caisses’ sub-dataset can be seen as a deepening of information in ‘Boxes’.


Main Table

The ‘Main table’ provides us with basic information on mutual benefit societies and in particular on gildebussen (guild boxes) and on knechtsbussen (journeymen’s boxes) established in the period between approximately 1500 and 1820.

> Description of fields used in the Main Table...


Table 'Box characteristics'

The table ‘Box characteristics’ provides information on the nature or characteristics of the box and the type of members involved. The different member options are Apprentice, City worker, Journeyman, Master and Sailor. These types of members tell us something about the nature of the box, but it is also possible that more than one type of member is allowed or that the box is a funeral box and open to everyone. If no information about the box or its members can be identified the box will sometimes be simply labeled 'Box'.

> Description of fields used in the table 'Box characteristics'...


Table 'Products'

The 'Products' table provides information on the different products the box offers. The products are an interesting and central focal point of the Boxes-database and are therefore discussed in more detail below (see Bos, 1998).

Contributing members to the box gained the right to receive certain benefits in times of need. The guild and journeymen’s boxes offered an 'all-in-one package'. The member would simply pay contributions and the cash available in the box would determine whether or not he or she would receive a benefit. Box regulations defined what a member could expect to receive at what times. The most common benefits were funeral and sickness benefits. The sickness benefit was subdivided into two types: wage compensation or payment of medical expenses (though a combination was also possible). Wage compensation made up for only a part of the normal wage (see Bos, 1998, 69; 100; 123). Please see the glossary and the section 'Types' on the main page for a more extensive explanation of the different mutual benefits

> Description of fields used in the table 'Products'...


Table 'Analyzed remarks'

The 'Analyzed remarks' table supplies a great variety of information on the different boxes. It provides extra information on start and end years, as well as amounts of benefits, member contributions and possessions and resources. It records whether the box is a continuation of another box, or merges into a new one. In addition, it provides some numbers on general and drawing members. Other more specific remarks were put in the 'remarks' column.

> Description of fields used in the table 'Analyzed remarks'...


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