History students UGent work for a whole academic year on VLIZ Prize Papers project | Flanders Marine Institute
 

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History students UGent work for a whole academic year on VLIZ Prize Papers project

Added on 2018-10-23
Earlier this month, 20 history students from Ghent University started their historical research seminar working with material offered by the VLIZ project ' Southern Netherlandish Prize Papers Research'. During the entire academic year, the students will sharpen their research skills and in the meantime contribute to the transcription and interpretation of documents found on ships once privateered by the British Admiralty. We are currently zooming in on price papers from the period of the Spanish Succession War (1702-1714). This information, which has never been disclosed, might change our views on the maritime history of the Southern Netherlands.

Photo: VLIZ (Wim De Winter)


The project Southern Netherlandish Prize Papers Research examines documents from the Prize Papers Collection, kept in the National Archive in Kew (UK). It includes letters and other documents found on ships, which were privateered by the British Admiralty between the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 19th century, and all the time have been kept in the archive. These sources offer great potential for research into the maritime history of the Southern Netherlands. They have never been studied before from a Flemish context. In cooperation with national and international partners, VLIZ started thematic research into this unique historical material.

VLIZ researcher and maritime historian himself, Wim De Winter traveled several times to Kew for scanning and photographing a load of documents, initially focusing on the period of the Spanish Succession War (1702-1714). The 'booty' contains already more than 1000 documents, including personal letters, trade correspondence, loading letters and ship logs. What follows now is the transcription, interpretation and further disclosure of these documents. An immense work ... where VLIZ seeks cooperation with national and international partners. This is also the case with the Department of History at Ghent University.

For their historical research seminar 'Historical Practice II', the 2nd BSc students in History could choose from several subjects to sharpen their research skills, including in the discipline of maritime history. Twenty of them chose to cooperate with the Prize Papers research project. They started on 12 October and were given an introduction to the subject where they will continue working for a full academic year under the supervision of Wim De Winter and Prof. dr. Michael Limberger.


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