What are you looking for?

Leerssen, Joep

Leerssen, Joep

KB Fellow

Books as Carriers of Cultural Procreation

Research Question

We usually see books as an end-product of writing; they are also the starting point of reading. Books produce other books, by raising interest, generating a demand for more, and establishing or diffusing themes or authors as “canonical”. To map the patterns of how books “procreate” enables us to chart the rise and fall of literary and cultural interests.

Project Description

I have been involved in the development of Nodegoat, an online/interactive research tool for generating dynamic and historical network visualizations from data collections. So far I have applied nodegoat to data collections such as historical monuments, letter-writing (correspondence), and art academies. At NIAS, I aim to use the digitized catalogues of the Netherlands Royal Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) as databases for network-analysis. In particular I want to use the online corpus of the Digitale Bibliotheek der Nederlandse Letteren as a database to establish a mutual “citation index” and impact-factor measurement of Dutch and Flemish authors over time. This allows us to develop a new model of literary and cultural canonicity, based on the mapping of historical impact curves drawn directly from the primary source corpus.


— (ed.) Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (2 vols.; Amsterdam UP, forthcoming; online version at http://romanticnationalism.net)

“The nation and the city: Urban festivals and cultural mobilization”, Nations and nationalism, 21.1 (2015): 2-20

(ed., with Ann Rigney): Commemorating writers in nineteenth-century Europe: Nation-building and centenary fever (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)

Personal page