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Web-archiving and digital archives: Chinese communities in the Netherlands and Indonesia

On May 15th, from 15.15 to 17.00 in the Vossiusroom, Leiden University Libraries will host a program on web-archiving and digital archives of Chinese communities in the Netherlands and Indonesia.

The Online culture of the Dutch Chinese community

The Chinese community has been present in the Netherlands for more than a hundred years. This community is well known for their restaurants, supermarkets, New Year celebrations and Chinatowns. Lesser known is its online culture. What do members of the Chinese community do online in the Dutch web sphere? How do they reflect on Dutch society and culture? How do they preserve their own language and culture online on the Dutch web? What does the content of their websites say about their heritage and how do these sites map their online presence on the Dutch web?

In order to answer these questions, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek | National Library of the Netherlands (KB-NL) has constructed a curated web collection, which represents the online culture of the Chinese community on the Dutch national web domain. This lecture will present the process of building up such a web collection, and outline the content and use of this web collection for digital humanities research.

Computational analyses of text-based digital archives

Archived websites often contain large amounts of text, and the contents of such pages can be analysed effectively using technologies in the field of text and data mining. The Leiden Centre for Digital Scholarship (CDS) provides practical support using such digital research methods, and encourages scholars to discover the new and useful applications of digital technologies within their own disciplines. In the past few years, the CDS has conducted a large number of projects in close collaboration with researchers. During these projects, scholars were encouraged to engage with methods and techniques such as named entity recognition, topic modelling, word2vec and IIIF. This lecture discusses some of the services that can be offered by the CDS, and offers illustrations of the ways in which data science can help to enrich the more traditional forms of research.

The Kong Koan archives

The Chinese Council (Kong Koan) of Batavia arose as a representative body of Chinese autonomy under the Dutch authority in the second half of the seventeenth century. This council was responsible for handling minor criminal and civil lawsuits among Chinese citizens, registration of marriages between the Chinese, and management of the Chinese cemeteries, schools and temples. Rediscovered in a warehouse in Jakarta in 1995, this collection was entrusted to Leiden University where a significant part of the collection has been digitized. While discovering the dedicated pages in our Digital Collections, we will compare some scans with the original items. 


This program is part of the China Seminar and will take place in the Vossius room, located on the second floor of the University Library, Witte Singel 27.

  • 15.15 - 16.15 Kees Teszelszky and Kitty Lin
    • A digital China town in the Netherlands: Web-archiving the websites of the Dutch Chinese community.
  • 16.15 - 16.40 Peter Verhaar
    • Computational Analyses of text-based digital archives. Peter Verhaar
  • 16.40 – 17.00 Marc Gilbert
    • Presentation of the Kong Koan archives, digital and analogue. Marc Gilbert

Sign up

Sign-up for this workshop is required. Please use the button below, send an email to aanmelding@library.leidenuniv.nl citing your name and the number of attendants, or call +31(0)71 527 2832.

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