Datasets - Waterboards - The Netherlands

Description of database


This database is based on an earlier database of Dutch waterboards, created between 1987 and 1991. The latter database was an initiative of the members of the Vereniging voor Waterstaatsgeschiedenis (Association for the History of Water Management),  among whom many archivists and other staff members of waterboards. They felt the need to document the history of the traditional small-scale waterboards which were disappearing swiftly as they merged into ever larger organisations. The leaders of this project were Ludy Giebels, then archivist of the hoogheemraadschap (regional waterboard) van Rijnland, and Chris Streefkerk, then secretary of the Vereniging voor Waterstaatsgeschiedenis. Streefkerk designed the database (in DataPerfect), while Giebels was in charge of the collection and processing of the data. Questionnaires were sent to all waterboards and public archives in 1987. For each polder and other waterboard a separate questionnaire had to be used, which contained questions concerning the state of its archives and the availability of an inventory. The answers were entered into the database and changes were taken into account until 1991.

In 1996, a copy of the Giebels-Streefkerk-database was deposited at the Nederlands Historisch Data Archief (NHDA), a forerunner of DANS where digital historical datasets could be stored (L.A.M. Giebels, Archives of the waterboard districts, 1255-1980, NHDA D 0047). In the 1990s the Noordhollands Archief in Haarlem planned to update the database and make it publicly accessible in its reading room, but this plan has never been carried out. In 2007, Jan van de Noort made a list in pdf-format on the basis of the database, showing the names of the waterboards with part of the data collected. This list is accessible (in Dutch only) on the website of the Vereniging voor Waterstaatsgeschiedenis under the name of WAD. As the database was a collective project of the members of the Vereniging who filled out the questionnaires, it is owned by the Vereniging.

In the years 2008-10 the Giebels-Streefkerk database has been revised by Milja van Tielhof, as part of Data Infrastructures for the Study of guilds and other forms of collective action-project, carried out at Utrecht University. In December 2008 the University of Utrecht obtained permission from the Vereniging voor Waterstaatsgeschiedenis to revise and expand the database and make it accessible online. It was then been converted from DataPerfect to Microsoft Access, after which it was revised and complemented.


Main table

The Main Table provides the basic data on each waterboard, such as name, location, size et cetera.

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


Table 'Archives'

This table provides specific information about the location of the archivals instutions visited and the designation of the archival documents found.

> Description of fields used in the Table 'Archives'...


Table 'Numbers'

This table shows the relation of the codes used in the first version of the database (1990) to the geographical entities of the waterboards.

> Description of fields used in the Table 'Numbers'...



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