SKILLNET – Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks


Crowdsourcing Data of Letters from the Republic of Letters

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The Spring 2020 issue of EU Research, a magazine with a global audience showcasing research sponsored by the European Research Council, includes a two-page interview with Dirk van Miert about the SKILLNET project and CEMROL in particular. Read it here:

CEMROL (Collecting Metadata of the Republic of Letters) is a crowdsourcing project in which anyone interested in history or letters can participate. The project focuses on letters from the 15th up to the 18th century with a learned character.

The aim is to map out who wrote letters to whom, from where and on what date. We call on the help of the public to type in the data of letters from scanned books in which these letters are printed. We challenge the public to indicate on their own computer screens where in these books letters begin and end, and where the names of the letter writers and recipients, the date and place of dispatch, and preferably also the place of addressing are. We also ask the public to type in the names and dates. You can choose the language of the letters you want to work with. For example, are you interested in French letters from the Enlightenment? Or perhaps you know Latin and want to get your teeth into disclosing data from Latin letters from the 17th century? Or have you taken a Spanish or Italian course and would you like to know more about 16th century letters in those languages? All help is welcome! If you would like to participate or to receive more information first, please contact us through

This video gives you an impression of how CEMROL works: