A dramatic increase in the amount of information gave rise to new knowledge during the scientific revolution of the 17th century. But how were new elements of knowledge disseminated and appropriated? In short: how did knowledge circulate?
In order to answer this question the CKCC (Circulation of Knowledge and Learned Practices in the 17th-century Dutch Republic) project built a web application called CKCC VRE. In this ‘virtual research environment’ researchers can browse and analyze metadata and full texts of around 20,000 Dutch scholarly letters from the period 1594-1707. The application now contains the correspondence of: Caspar van Baarle (Barlaeus); Isaac Beeckman; René Descartes; Hugo de Groot (Grotius); Christiaan Huygens; Constantijn Huygens; Antoni van Leeuwenhoek; Dirck Rembrantsz van Nierop; and Jan Swammerdam. The second functionality of the VRE is to visualize the outcome of the social network and co-citation inquiries.
The project website contains a link and extensive supporting documentation for a closed beta (or prototype) of the VRE. If you would like access to the VRE beta, please contact Charles van den Heuvel. The application was officially launched and made available for the public in June of 2013.
Participants in the the CKCC project are: Descartes Institute (University of Utrecht); the Huygens ING; National Library of the Netherlands; DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) and UvA (University of Amsterdam).
Video instruction “How to use the CKCC VRE”