TIC-Collaborative is a collaborative digital humanities project, focusing on what was described as transnational ‘Intellectual Cooperation’ (TIC) in the long nineteenth century in general and transnational connections in the field of ‘social reform’ in particular. Using a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for the study of international connections, this project opens new perspectives on the history of social reform in and beyond the Low Countries in the period 1840-1940.
Building on the latest innovations in digital humanities, network analysis, and elaborating a newly developed Virtual Research Environment for the study of international organizations, this project opens new perspectives on the history of social reform in the period 1815-1914, with a special emphasis on the Low Countries. At a European level, the project shows the ways in which local and national welfare policies and legal regimes emerged in this period and demonstrates that such innovations were deeply embedded in transnational networks. Within this broader context, it focuses in particular on the involvement of reformers from the Low Countries, and highlights their activities at home and abroad.
The overall aim of the project is to demonstrate the interconnectedness of local activism, national reform agendas and the transnational circulation of ideas and practices related to welfare and legal reform, and to make an empirical contribution to the understanding of the transnational field of social and legal reform as both a social and discursive field. We aim to demonstrate this, firstly, by looking at the range and relative strength of domestic, national and transnational ties of a carefully selected focus group and secondly, by examining the ‘mental maps’ of the reformers in question, as these can be gleaned from reform discourses in the development of welfare provisions and social change from the 19th century to the First World War.
The international research group ‘Transnational dynamics of social reform, 1840-1940’ consists of researchers from seven countries aims at opening new perspectives on the history of social reform and reform activism between the mid 19th and mid 20th century. At a European and also global level, the project highlights the ways in which local and national welfare regimes and reform agendas emerged in this period and demonstrates that such arrangements were deeply embedded in transnational contacts. For a period of three years the project has received funding from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research in order to integrate ongoing research and to create institutional synergies.
Towards a Virtual Research Environment
TIC Collaborative is a Virtual Research Environment for the study of 19th and early 20th century international organizations and congresses. The VRE applies the principle of scholarly crowdsourcing and offers access to digitized dispersed sources in a central observatory. The platform includes a (1) digital asset management system which will allow the research community to share, annotate and enrich a wide variety of documents, letters, photographs, etc. and (2) a collaborative relational database (in order to process the data for social network analysis, prosopography, etc.). It thus integrates digitized primary sources concerning international congresses (e.g. conference proceedings, reports, lectures and attendees lists), international organizations, and other published and unpublished sources (e.g. yearbooks, periodicals, articles of association, pamphlets, and memoirs).
TIC Collaborative is coordinated by Christophe Verbruggen (Ghent University) and Nico Randeraad (Maastricht University)