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Call for proposals: KB Researcher-in-residence

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands is seeking proposals for its Researcher-in-residence program. This program offers a chance to early career researchers to work in the library with the Digital Humanities team and KB data. In return, we learn how researchers use the data of the KB. Together we will address your research question in a 6 month project using the digital collections of the KB and computational techniques. The output of the project will be incorporated in the KB Research Lab and is ideally beneficial for a larger (scholarly) community.The KB and digitisation

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands  is a research library with a broad collection in the fields of Dutch history, culture and society, and as a national library collects and stores all (digital) publications that appear in the Netherlands, as well as a part of the international publications about the Netherlands. The KB has planned to have digitised and OCRed its entire collection of books, periodicals and newspapers from 1470 onward by the year 2030. Already in 2013, 10% of this enormous task was completed, resulting in 73 million digitised pages, either from the KB itself or via public-private partnerships as Google Books and ProQuest. Over 1 million books, newspapers and magazines are currently available via the search portal www.delpher.nl.


The project will be carried out in the Research Department of the KB and there will be two consecutive placements in 2016.

Who are we looking for?

Early career researchers who are:

  • PhD-students or have obtained their PhD between 2010 and 2015,
  • Employed at a university or research institute in the EU,
  • Interested in using one (or more) of the digital collections of the KB,
  • Available for 0.5 fte over a period of 6 months (Jan – Jun 2016 or Jul – Dec 2016) and able to spend at least 1 day a week at the KB.

What can we offer you?

  • A secondment with the KB,
  • Access to all data sets of the KB,
  • An office space,
  • Travel costs within the Netherlands,
  • Support from a programmer, collection and data specialists.

Which collections do we have?

You can use any digital collection of the KB and even combine it with an external collection, if copyright allows. Several of our digitised collections are described in more detail on our website, such as the parliamentary papers and the medieval illuminated manuscripts.

You can also browse through our collection of more than 1 million newspapers, magazines, radio bulletins and books on Delpher.nl.

What kind of projects are we looking for?

We’re open to all kinds of projects that use our data and benefit your research and other users of the KB and/or the KB Research Lab. Read our blog for more inspiration.
One of the previous Researchers-in-residence has worked on a best practice method for concept searching using keyword generation. Another team has worked on creating a data set that makes image similarity search a real possibility for all photos in our digitised historical newspapers.

For answer to more questions, read our FAQ. Please also read the terms of this call and placement. Respondents are urged to contact dh@kb.nl in advance of proposal submission to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and KB support with the Digital Humanities team.

How do I apply?

Fill out this form before 1 November 2015 to submit your project. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions of this call and agree to them. You will be notified of the outcome in December.