As a history student learning about the seventeenth century (or any other period of the past to be honest) I often wondered: How do these people writing about history really know what happened? Obviously this is a hairy question with many different answers, many involving good primary sources.
My follow up question was sometimes: Did they read the newspaper from that period or something? Well, they probably did. I was never very good at checking the references.
Anyway, yesterday we got a visit from the people who developed Delpher. a project which has digitized over a million books, newspapers and magazines from the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Now anyone can trace the thirty years’ war (1618-1648) through the Dutch news from that period. At least that’s what I would do with it, there are of course many other things to explore with this amazing collection.