Tim Riswick

CLARIAH Fellowship

Today Sanne Muurling and myself got the news that our proposal “Death, Disease and Data: Enriching Amsterdam’s civil certificates with cause-of-death and Linked Open Data, 1854-1926” was accepted. The reviewers were very positive: “This is a very well-defined, clearly delineated project; (…) it is clear their research will benefit from the fellowship project and contribute new methodological insights with which their historical questions may be answered better. The generalizability is good: the outcomes of the project will benefit social historians more broadly, in particular on how to benefit from linked open data” and “it makes sense at all relevant dimensions. For one, it is written by potential users of the CLARIAH infrastructure, who are currently not yet using it. Also, their proposal perfectly lines up with one of the CLARIAH tools AND enhances one of the largest national LOD projects (Amsterdam Time Machine). Furthermore, they’re research question is substantively appealing, which will draw a large audience to their proposed outreach activities, likely adding to the uptake of the CLARIAH infrastructure.”

In this fellowship, we will carry out a small research project based on an explicitly formulated research question by using data and/or software that are already part of the CLARIAH infrastructure.

Abstract: Who died from the contagious diseases roaming the city of Amsterdam between 1854 and 1926? To be able to answer this question, indices of the cause-of-death registers and civil registry of Amsterdam need to be matched. We propose to use the CLARIAH Infrastructure, specifically from the datalegend tool suite, to publish these certificates as Linked Data, and use BurgerLinker to link information on persons in these sources. We thus (1) enrich information on mortality in Amsterdam and (2) combine it with other information already available in Open Link Data Format. These enhanced data allow us to answer our research questions, providing a better understanding of infectious diseases in different contexts in time and space. We offer the new civil register data to CLARIAH and, in the process of creating it, we will provide extensive feedback on the tools and help enhance their documentation.

Craeyvanger, R. – Sint Antoniebreestraat (Jodenbuurt) 1867