Dynamic Atlas, 17th century Dutch Texts, Formosa
As observed by Nachum Dershowitz, “written text is an ideal source for understanding life in the historical past. Manuscripts, including community documents, personal letters, and commercial records all contribute to a fuller understanding of a given time and place.” This project suggests a combination of applying digital software programs to historical materials of 17th century Dutch Formosa with specific reference to Kercboek, Brievenboek van Formosa, 23 januari 1642- 4 maart 1660.
The purpose of a digitalized content format envisions two larger objectives: (1) mapping the key figures in the Dutch community, their social networks and mobility in Formosa and other VOC (Vereenigde East India Compagnie) factories and (2) provide guidance and develop standards that can be applied to other digital archives and databases pondering the possibility of generalizable methods.
The rationale behind this project is thus to develop tools that can be used to extract and visualize patterns of mobility in the VOC by its personnel that at one point had been employed in Formosa. This topic has not received the necessary attention and requires to be studied in view of the significance attached to the Tayuoan factory. Through network analyses of the names mentioned in the mission document Kercboek, Brievenboek van Formosa, it is possible to develop a set of methods that allow us to examine these questions on mobility regarding its horizontal, vertical, upward and downward specificity. The upgrade to include the methodology of digital humanities is essential in coming towards a fuller picture that contextualizes historical materials and has the capacity to change the way historians and cultural studies scholars look at mobility, past and present.
For more information, please refer to the Asia-Pacific SpatioTemporal Institute at National Chengchi University.
“Old Maps, New Views” Core Projects Development: Commonality of Interest in Spatial Humanities and Shared Technical Infrastructure