One of the reasons behind the immense success of the cultural industry in the Dutch Golden Age was the dense clustering of networks that constituted the Republic. Those networks varied from social, commercial, political, religious and artistic to scientific, and most times they combined several of those features.
The members of this research group explore, in a cross-disciplinary setting, the structures and activities of those networks in the ‘long’ Golden Age (1550-1750), their multiple relations to foreign networks, and the impact of their activities on Dutch society. Research is carried out in close cooperation with cultural heritage institutions (like the Amsterdam Stadsarchief, the Amsterdam Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Amsterdam University Library’s Special Collections). With respect to methodology, the research group will combine classical scholarship with tools and strategies from the e-humanities. An important tool is the prosopographic information system Ecartico. This open access database on the cultural industry of the Low Countries was developed at the UvA during the last decade. In the next years new tools and resources will be developed and implemented. The second aim of this research group is critical reflection both on the applicability of the Dutch societal model as a generic ‘recipe for success’ and on the fruitfulness of research methods that seek to discover and adequately analyse the activities and impact of networks.