SKILLNET – Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks


BA Internship at Skillnet (History Department, UU)

We are looking for enthusiastic Bachelor students to join the Skillnet team as interns in 2019-2020. The project ‘Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks’ (SKILLNET) studies early modern scholarship, concentrating on scientists who transcended religious, political and linguistic boundaries. From about 1500 to around 1800, these scholars belonged to a European knowledge-based civil society known as the ‘Republic of Letters’. The people who constituted this community have left behind hundreds of thousands of letters, manuscripts, and other material. Thanks to an unprecedented body of digital data of such documents, at Skillnet we combine methods of close and distant reading to unravel the social structure of the Republic of Letters. This analysis will allow us to, for example, trace changes in the way the scholars related to the ideal of sharing knowledge and to look at the methods they used to communicate this ideal to future generations. To read more about Skillnet and the projects of its team members, visit:


The specific responsibilities will vary per intern (based on your interests and skills) and per Semester, but in general students will be expected to:

  • support the researchers in collecting and managing historical data (working with datasets, online material as well as printed and archival sources). For instance, collecting and structuring biographical information about scholars and reconciling a list of names against a virtual authority file, geocoding place names and visualising relational data.
  • support the researchers in our contact with the public (working on the website, newsletter, our crowdsourcing platform CEMROL, and other outreach initiatives).
  • contribute to the organization of the international Skillnet conference on Memory and Identity in the Learned World in Utrecht (7-9 November 2019).
  • participate in the activities and meetings of the Skillnet-team (located at Drift 6).


We are looking for BA students (in History/Geschiedenis, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Literature, Philosophy, Taal- en Cultuurstudies, or at UCU) who have:

  • the motivation to work hard, learn a lot, and participate as a member of our team (this motivation is key, not your skills as such).
  • a strong interest in the history of the early modern period.
  • an affinity with cultural history and/or the history of science and knowledge.
  • knowledge of datasets and digital tools in history, or a willingness to acquire this.
  • good command of English (since we have an international team).
  • the ability to work both independently and as a team player.


We offer:

  • a 15 EC internship for the first Semester of 2019-2020 (September 2019 to January 2020) or the second Semester of 2019-2020 (January to June 2020).
  • the opportunity to experience what historical research looks like ‘from the inside’ and to be part of a large, international research team.
  • training in Digital Humanities research and acquisition of transferable skills, such as text mining, data management and cleaning, collective biography, quantitative approaches to historical questions, and archival research.
  • the possibility to present your work at our international conference in Utrecht (only for the first Semester).
  • reimbursement for travel expenses related to the project.


To apply, please send (combined in 1 PDF) a one-page letter of motivation and your cv. Do not forget to mention in which Semester you are available to do the internship. Applications should be submitted to: dr Karen Hollewand ( Deadline: 26 May 2019 (the interviews will take place in the first two weeks of June).


Download the advertisement here in PDF.

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