Halfdan Simonsen was an MA student interning in the SKILLNET project. He obtained his BA in history from the University of Bergen and then worked with artists and musicians establishing an artists residency and collective in the Italian countryside. Having returned to academia, he did a research master in history at Utrecht University, with particular focus on the history of 19th century natural ice trade. His research interests are trade history, Scandinavian history, Norwegian history, Nordic/Baltic history. He works mostly within the later early modern period, and the transition towards industrialisation. In the SKILLNET project he investigated ‘the Nordic republic of letters’, looking into Scandinavian intellectual networks, and to identify individuals, traditions and styles particular (or not) to the region. The main goal was to determine how this geographically peripheral region interacted with the ‘larger republic’ by investigating material linking Scandinavia to the rest of Europe.