Old Dutch law

Studying Dutch legal history is traditionally called studying Old Dutch law. In this word no nationalism is implied, for dealing with it means studying a lot of varying regional and local legal systems. Apart from that, one has to see whether one is interested not only in the present Netherlands, but also in its sometime southern part, Belgium. Anyway, one can use the Dutch word oud-vaderlands recht for both Dutch and Belgian legal history.

To the legal history of the Netherlands and Belgium one has to add the colonial past of both countries: Indonesia, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Congo are among the countries involved.

Concordia

The blason of the States of Utrecht with the motto of the Dutch Republic, Concordia res parvae crescunt – former Main Guardhouse, Janskerkhof, Utrecht

The study of Old Dutch law

It is possible to consult some major collections for the old printed sources of and concerning the old Dutch law, such as law books, statutes, ordinances, collections of ordinances and placards, collections of sentences or juridical advice, and legal commentaries. On the spot or nearby the libraries mentioned below is in most cases a collection of the relevant scientific literature on Dutch legal history.

  • The collection of E.M. Meijers (1880-1954) was housed for many years at the Legal History Institute of Leiden University in the old Count’s Prison, the “Gravensteen”, but now one can find it at Leiden University Library – catalogue : R. Feenstra, M. Duynstee and W. Schwab (eds.), Catalogue des imprimés de la collection Meijers de la Bibliothèque de l’Université de Leyde (Leiden-Zwolle 1980).
  • The collection of old imprints at the Hoge Raad, the Dutch supreme court in The Hague, contains a large number of books for Dutch legal history, see the catalogue – P.P. Schmidt, Catalogus Oude drukken in de bibliotheek van de Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (Zwolle 1988) – and Joost Pikkemaat, The Old Library of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands (Hilversum 2008).
  • At the Juridical Library of Utrecht University there is a substantial collection of old juridical books, amounting to some 3000 books – a succinct description of them is to be found at the website of Utrecht University Library.

Outside the Netherlands one should in particular consult the library of the Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Frankfurt am Main, which houses a very large collection of old Dutch juridical books, see Douglas Osler, Catalogue of books printed in Spain, Portugal and the Southern and Northern Netherlands from the beginning of printing to 1800 in the library of the Max-Planck-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte (Frankfurt am Main 2000). Another rich German library is the Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. One could also recommend some British libraries, starting perhaps with the British Library and its Dutch department. In Paris the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Bibliothèque Cujas of the Faculté de Droit Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I) provide a sensible starting point, as do in Italy the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the library of the Archiginnasio in Bologna.

The study of Old Dutch law has been promoted and advanced in particular by some learned societies. The end of the eighteenth century saw the foundation of the society Pro iure patria excolendo in Groningen. In 1860 the Vereeniging tot beoefening van Overijsselsch regt en geschiedenis was founded, the Society for Overijssel’s law and history, shortened to VORG. For Gelre (Guelders) the Vereniging Gelre (founded in 1897) published a number of legal sources and studies.

On a more national level the Vereeniging tot Uitgaaf der Bronnen van het oud-vaderlandsche recht came into existence in 1879. Nowadays it is a stichting, a chartered foundation, often abbreviated as OVR. OVR published its own journal, the Verslagen en Mededeelingen, of which two series appeared. Since 1999 OVR has got a new journal, Pro Memorie. OVR supports the edition of sources for legal history in their Werken (Works), of which the fourth series is now appearing. Lately OVR has supported the publication of procesgidsen, a number of guides to legal procedures at several Dutch courts. Many older editions of Dutch municipal statutes published for OVR have been digitized for the Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch.

A special place was occupied by the former NCRD, the Dutch Center for Documentation in Legal History and Iconography in The Hague, housed in the Royal Library. Its database has been online and accessible for cardholders of the Royal Library, and since 2012 available at The Memory of the Netherlands. Each of the departments of legal history in the Dutch and Belgian universities has its own specialties in subjects, periods and themes. The Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis, too, has been an important vehicle for articles on Old Dutch – and Belgian – law ever since its first appearance in 1918.

Introductions to Dutch legal history

A number of more or less classic introductions exist. Traditionally universities put one or two of them on the reading program of students. The order here is purely alphabetical on author name.

  • A.S. de Blécourt [revised by H.F.W.D. Fischer], Kort begrip van het oud-vaderlands burgerlijk recht (8th ed., Groningen 1968).
  • P. Gerbenzon and N. Algra, Voortgangh des rechtes. De ontwikkeling van het Nederlandse recht tegen de achtergrond van de Westeuropese cultuur (5th ed., Alphen aan den Rijn 1979).
  • E.J.J. van der Heijden [revised by B.H.D. Hermesdorf], Aantekeningen bij de geschiedenis van het oude vaderlandse recht (8. ed., Nijmegen-Utrecht 1968).
  • B.H.D. Hermesdorf [published by P.J. Verdam], Rechtsspiegel. Een rechtshistorische terugblik in de Lage Landen van het Herfsttij (Nijmegen 1980).
  • J.Ph. de Monté ver Loren [revised by J.E. Spruit], Hoofdlijnen uit de ontwikkeling der rechterlijke organisatie in de Noordelijke Nederlanden tot de Bataafse omwenteling (6th ed., Deventer 1982; 7th ed., Deventer 2000).

For the history of institutions you can use the following works:

  • I.H. Gosses, Handboek tot de staatkundige geschiedenis der Nederlanden I: De Middeleeuwen, R.R. Post (ed.) (first edition 1959; reprint The Hague 1979) – old but still serviceable for the medieval period
  • R.C. van Caenegem, De instellingen van de Middeleeuwen : geschiedenis van de westerse staatsinstellingen van de Ve tot de XVe eeuw (2nd ed., 2 vol., Ghent 1977) – a manual on medieval institutions with a focus on the Low Countries
  • J. Kuys, Kerkelijke organisatie in het middeleeuwse bisdom Utrecht (Nijmegen 2004) – a manual for the study of the ecclesiastical organisation in the medieval diocese Utrecht, with a range and importance beyond its subject, because it was also a principality in the Holy Roman Empire
  • R. Fruin, Geschiedenis der staatsinstellingen in Nederland tot den val der Republiek, H.T. Colenbrander (ed.) (2nd ed., 1922; reprint The Hague 1980) – the classic work
  • C.W. van der Pot, Bestuurs- en rechtsinstellingen der Nederlandse Provinciën (Zwolle 1949) – focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth century, strong for regional authorities

For research concerning 19th century Dutch legal history the following books are useful:

  • G.W.F. Brüggemann and E.C. Coppens, Bibliografische inleiding in de Nederlandse rechtsgeschiedenis van de negentiende eeuw (Zutphen 1985).
  • H.A. Diederiks, S. Faber and A.H. Huussen jr. (eds.), Strafrecht en criminaliteit (Zutphen 1988; Cahiers voor lokale en regionale geschiedenis, 1) – a concise guide to the history of criminal law and justice from the Dutch Republic onwards
  • G.A.M. van Synghel (ed.), Bronnen voor de criminaliteit en strafrechtspleging vanaf 1811 tot heden (Broncommentaren, vol. 7; Den Haag 2009) – a guide to major record series concerning criminal law and justice and their use – you can view online PDF’s of the chapters (ING/Huygens Instituut); other volumes contain interesting chapters, too; there are two series of introductions to sources, the first published by the Stichting Archief Publicaties, I-XII, 4 vol., 1987-1990, the second by the Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, 1-8, 8 vol., 1994-2010

For Belgian legal history some books stand out:

  • R.C. van Caenegem, Geschiedenis van het strafrecht in Vlaanderen van de XIe tot de XIVe eeuw (Brussels 1954) – the history of criminal law in medieval Flanders
  • R.C. van Caenegem, Geschiedenis van het strafprocesrecht in Vlaanderen van de XIe tot de XIVe eeuw (Brussels 1956) – the history of medieval procedure in Flemish criminal courts
  • J. Monballyu, Six centuries of criminal law : history of criminal law in the Southern Netherlands and Belgium (1400-2000) (Leiden 2014) – first edition: Zes eeuwen strafrecht : de geschiedenis van het Belgische strafrecht (1400-2000) (Leuven 2006).
  • H. de Schepper, E. Aerts, M. Baelde et alii (eds.), De centrale overheidsinstellingen van de Habsburgse Nederlanden, 1482-1795 (Brussels 1994) – an indispensable guide to the history of the main institutions of the Habsburgian Low Countries.
  • Patricia Van den Eeckhout and Guy Vanthemsche (eds.) Bronnen voor de studie van het hedendaagse België,19e-21e eeuw [Sources for the study of modern Belgium, 19th-21st centuries)] (3rd ed., 2 vol., Brussels 2017) – the Royal Commission for History offers this guide also online, with due attention to collections in archives and libraries.

A fine annotated introduction in English to Dutch legal history is the chapter by Randall Lesaffer, ‘A short legal history of the Netherlands‘, in: Understanding Dutch law, H.S. Taekema (ed.) (The Hague 2004) 31-58. For the background of legal history in Belgium it is useful to read an article by Dirk Heirbaut, ‘Legal history in Belgium’Clio@Themis 1 (2009).

It is certainly useful to turn also to general histories of the Low Countries. Some books stand out:

  • Algemene geschiedenis der Nederlanden, D.P. Blok et alii (eds.) (15 vol., Haarlem 1977-1983) – a major reference work.
  • Jonathan Israel, The Dutch Republic. Its rise, greatness and fall 1477-1806 (Oxford 1995) – a masterwork for the Early Modern period, an instant classic.
  • E.H. Kossmann, The Low Countries 1780-1940 (Oxford 1976).
  • H. Lademacher, Geschichte der Niederlande (Darmstadt 1983).
  • De geschiedenis van Nederland (8 vol., Amsterdam 2004-2007) – eight separate volumes, with for example Marco Mostert for the early Middle Ages [In de marge van de beschaving, 2009], Wim Blockmans for the period 1100-1560 [Metropolen aan de zee, 2010], A.Th. van Deursen for the Dutch Republic (1555-1702) [De last van veel geluk, 2006) and for colonial history between 1600 and 1800 J.J.L Gommans and P.C. Emmer (Rijk aan de rand van de wereld, 2012), and for the period since 1800 H.W. van der Doel (Zo ver de wereld strekt, 2011).

For some subjects in Dutch history separate guides to archival sources have been published. They oiften touch upon legal and institutional history. Many of these guides are also accessible online at the Huygens Institute/ING, here a selection:

For some Dutch regions I give here information about the main courts.

Holland

  • Hof van Holland, Nationaal Archief, The Hague – the new inventory by M.Ch. le Bailly and her colleagues (2008) succeeds in opening this rich archive much more than before, note in particular the rich bibliography under the heading Verwant materiaal-Publicaties

Medieval verdicts are accessible in the edition of the Memorialen van het Hof (den Raad) van Holland, Zeeland en West-Friesland, van den secretaris Jan Rosa, E.M. Meijers et alii (eds.) (7 vol., Haarlem-Leiden 1929-1996).

In particular the following titles are important

  • M.Ch. le Bailly, Recht voor de Raad. Rechtspraak voor het Hof van Holland, Zeeland en West-Friesland in het midden van de vijftiende eeuw (Hilversum 2001).
  • M.Ch. le Baiily en C.O. Verhas, Hoge Raad van Holland, Zeeland en West-Friesland (1582-1795). De hoofdlijnen van het procederen in civiele zaken voor de Hoge Raad zowel in eerste instantie als in hoger beroep (Hilversum 2006).
  • M.Ch. le Bailly, Procesgids Hof van Holland, Zeeland en West-Friesland (Hilversum 2008).
  • S. ter Braake, Met recht en rekenschap : de ambtenaren bij het Hof van Holland en de Haagse Rekenkamer in de Habsburgse tijd (1483-1558) (thesis Leiden University, 2007; Hilversum 2007) – on officials working at the Hof van Holland
  • W. Heersink e.a., Register Notariorum : de notarissen van het Hof van Holland 1525-1811 (The Hague 1999) – on notaries at the Hof van Holland.
  • R. Huybrecht, S. Scheffers and J. Scheffers-Hofman, Album advocatorum : de advocaten van het Hof van Holland, 1560-1811(The Hague 1996) – a repertory of barristers admitted tothe Hof van Holland.

The Nationaal Archief in The Hague offers at its website a number of indexes for some record series within the archives of the Hof van Holland, for civil and criminal sentences, decrees, memorials, requests, remissions and pardons.

Noord-Brabant

  • Dataschurk, Erfgoed ‘s Hertogenbosch – a guide for criminal records in the municipal archives of Bois-le-Duc, see also the page for Rechterlijke archieven
  • Archieven, Brabants Historisch Informatiecentrum (BHIC), Bois-le-Duc – the main regional archive in Noord-Brabant, with for example records of the Staatse Raad van Brabant (1586), notarial records, the juge de paix, and among the scanned records lots of schepenprotocollen, aldermen registers; the BHIC has microfiches of the main record series of the earlier Raad van Brabant in Brussels held at the Belgian national archives
  • Raad van Brabant, BHIC – a concise guide to the sources concerning this court between 1591 and 1811

Legal procedure at the Raad van Brabant you can consult the guide by E.J.M.F.C. Broers & B.C.M. Jacobs, Procesgids Staatse Raad van Brabant (Hilversum 2000). For Noord-Brabant guides exists a guide to its institutional history during the Republic J.G.M. Sanders, W.A. den Ham and J. Vriens (eds.), Noord-Brabant tijdens de Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden, 1572-1795: een institutionele handleiding (Hilversum 1996), and for the nineteenth century W.G.M. van der Heijden and J.G.M. Sanders (eds.), Noord-Brabant in de negentiende eeuw : een institutionele handleiding (‘s-Hertogenbosch 1993)..

Overijssel

  • E.D. Eijken (+), Compendium van het Overijssels recht vóór 1811, P. Brood and J. Mooijweer (eds.) (Kampen 2007) – even in its unfinished state this massive guide to law and justice in Overijssel during the Middle Ages and the  Early Modern period is helpful
  • P. Brood, Klaring van Overijssel: de hoofdlijnen van het procederen in civiele zaken (Hilversum 2010) – a guide to legal procedure at the supreme court of Overijssel

The archival collection of the Hoge Bank en Klaring is kept at the Historisch centrum Overijssel in Zwolle, toegang (finding aid) no. 0029, a digital version of the inventory by A.J. Mensema, Inventaris van het archief van de Hoge Bank en Klaring van Overijssel, 1530 – 1798 (Zwolle 2011). Some registers in the archival collection for the medieval bishops of Utrecht (Het Utrechts Archief, finding aid no. 218-1, Bisschoppen van Utrecht) contain verdicts of this court.

Utrecht

Caroline Pelser gives at her website Huizen aan het Janskerkhof [Houses at St. John’s Square] a useful guide to finding aids, printed case accounts and verdicts, and printed ordinances for the municipal and provincial court at Utrecht. On my old website I offer a guide to the history of Utrecht with also attention to legal sources. There is an online bibliography for the history of the city and province Utrecht. Many books can be found at Utrecht University Library and Het Utrechts Archief.

For legal procedure one can use the long-awaited guide by J.M. Milo and E.G.D. van Dongen, Procesgids Hof van Utrecht. Hoofdlijnen van het procederen in civiele zaken (Hilversum 2018). For ecclesiastical history there is a guide by Jan Kuys, Kerkelijke organisatie in het middeleeuwse bisdom Utrecht (Nijmegen 2004).

A number of dictionaries help you to interpret old legal terms:

  • F.L. Kersteman, Practisyns woordenboekje, of Verzameling van meest alle de woorden in de rechtskunde gebruikelyk (Dordrecht 1785; reprints Groningen-Hilversum 1988, Groningen-Den Haag 1996, Den Haag 2005) – an eighteenth-century dictionary which still can help; online, Delpher
  • K.F. Stallaert, Glossarium van verouderde rechtstermen, kunstwoorden en andere uitdrukkingen uit Vlaamsche, Brabantsche en Limburgsche oorkonden (3 vol., Leiden 1890; reprint Handzame 1977; online, vol. 1 (A-Huwen), DBNL) – especially for Flanders, Brabant and Limbourg
  • R. Reinsma, Glossarium van XVe en XVIe-eeuwse rechtstermen ontleend aan sententiën en dossiers van de Grote Raad van Mechelen (Amsterdam 1967) – focusing on records of the Great Council of Malines.
  • M. van Hattum and H. Rooseboom, Glossarium van oude Nederlandse rechtstermen (Amsterdam 1977).
  • N. Wijdeveld, M. van Hattum and R. van Answaarden, Glossarium van oude Franse rechtstermen (Amsterdam 1983).

Links

First the departments of legal history at Belgian and Dutch universities:

Belgium:

Netherlands:

Logo OVR

The Society for Old Dutch Law had its own portal for Dutch legal history, but due to technical problems this site had to be taken down. Some links presented here stem from this site. First a number of interesting websites concerning general subjects:

General

Legal history journals

Netherlands

Belgium

Recently the Centre d’Histoire du Droit et de la Justice at Louvan-la-Neuve launced the portal Digithemis where you can find a wide variety of resources concerning Belgium’s legal history.

Some Dutch digital libraries, starting with general collections:

  • Delpher, Royal Library, The Hague – with some 11,000 from the project Early Dutch Books Online (1780-1800), journals and newspapers, and also official gazettes as the Staatscourant and the Staatsblad, including those for the Dutch Indies
  • Boeken en handschriften, Bijzondere Collecties, Universiteit van Amsterdam – both books and manuscripts, see also the overview of image databases and digital collections
  • Beeldbank, Bibliotheek Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam – a simple name for a portal with digitized books, manuscripts, portrait paintings, Bible illustrations, maps and journals
  • Leesmuseum, Bibliotheek Arnhem – in its digital library this public library has digitized also a number of legal works
  • Digital Collections, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen – here in particular 127 Papyri Groninganae and also the Institutional Repository; the law faculty has its own collection with a section for Ph.D. theses
  • Digitale Collectie, Tresoar, Leeuwarden – with for example some manuscripts concerning Old Frisian law and some court files of famous trials
  • Digital Special Collections, Leiden University Library – a growing variety of digitized books, manuscripts and archival collections
  • Colonial Collection, Royal Tropical Institute – this digital collection contains some 1300 books and many scientific journals, many of them touch upon law and justice; since 2013 the collection is managed at Leiden
  • Project Digitalisering Erfgoed, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen – simple but effective access to digitized books with six alphabetical lists; there is now also a portal for the digital Bijzondere Collecties [Special Collections] with both manuscripts and books
  • Digitized Objects Special Collections, Bijzondere Collecties, Utrecht University Library
  • The Early Modern Pamphlets Online – Brill – pamphlets from three collections, the Knuttel collection and the Van Alphen collection at the Dutch Royal Library, and the Flugschriften des 16. Jahrhunderts, with pamphlets form the German Holy Roman Empire; at least 400 pamphlets deal with law (search for subject “Law”)
  • Early European Books – Chadwyck – within The Netherlands one has free access to digitized books from the Royal Library; here, too, pamphlets are present
  • Early Dutch Books Online – ten thousand digitized books from the period 1780-1800 from the holdings of the Dutch Royal Library and the university libraries of Leiden and Amsterdam
  • Sources for Dutch History, Digitale Bijzondere Collecties, Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht – digitized editions from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of sources on urban history, and also the major collection of ordinances for Holland and Zeeland, the Groot Placaet-Boeck (9 vol., The Hague 1658-1796)
  • Jurisprudence, Digitale Bijzondere Collecties, Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht – only a small number of books, but among them major authors such as Grotius, Van Leeuwen, Noodt, Voet and Huber, and the 1809 Dutch version of the Code civil

The Dutch Royal Library has created a new overview of Dutch digital projects (PDF, May 2015) where you can find not only books, but also maps, journals, newspapers, images and graphic materials. Digitaal Ergoed Nederland [Digital Heritage Netherlands] has an online database for searching Dutch digital projects.

Academic theses can be found online at the following websites:

  • NARCIS – the main Dutch online theses repository
  • Scripties Online – a portal to digital recent M.A. theses written at Dutch universities
  • HBO Kennisbank – B.A. and M.A. theses written at Dutch Higher Education institutions
  • Bictel – Ph.D. theses written in French at Belgian universities
  • E-thesis – digital versions of recent master theses defended at Belgian universities (in Dutch), with also subjects concerning legal history
  • Vlaamse Scriptiebank – M.A. theses written in Flemish defended at Belgian universities

For your convenience is here a list of digitzed legal journals:

  • Delpher: Tijdschriften 1850-1940, Royal Library, The Hague – among the eighty digitized journals some are concerned with Dutch law, in particular the Advocatenblad (1918-1935) and in the second set the Rechtsgeleerd magazijn (1882-1938); more important are the various official gazettes (Staatscourant and Staatsblad), also those for the Dutch Indies
  • Weekblad van het regt (1839-1943) – a digitized version at the University Maastricht of this important legal journal, with information on many cases and verdicts
  • Annuaire statistique de la Belgique (et du Congo Belge) (1870-1995), National Archives, Belgium – two other juridical journals, the Revue Belge de la police administrative et judiciaire and La Belgique judiciaire, have been digitized here, too

And finally some more specific sites for aspects of Dutch legal history:

Some of the plakaatboeken, collections of ordinances from the Early Modern period, and some of their modern counterparts, are available online:

  • Digitale Plakkaatzoeker – a tool for searching ordinances for the Overkwartier of Gelre, a part of Limburg, 1665-1795, see also A.M.J.A. Berkvens, Plakkatenlijst Overkwartier 1665-1794 (2 vol., Nijmegen 1990-1992), continued in Gelderse plakkatenlijst : 1740-1815, J. Drost (ed.) (Zutphen 1982)
  • The Dutch in the Caribbean World, c. 1670-c. 1870, Huygens Instituut – a portal around a digital version of the West Indisch Plakaatboek, J.A. Schiltkamp, J.Th. de Smidt and T. van der Lee (eds.) (5 vol. in 3 parts, Amsterdam 1973-1979)
  • Plakaatboek Guyana 1670-1816, Huygens Instituut – ordinances for Berbice, Demerary and Essequibo
  • Jacobus Anne van der Chijs, Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakaatboek 1602-1811, (17 vol., Batavia, 1885-1901), and also available online completely and better searchable at Sejarah Nusantara
  • Kaapse Plakkaatboek, M.K. Jeffreys and S.D. Naudé (eds.) (6 vol., Cape Town, 1944-1951) – for South Africa and the former Cape provinces
  • Ceylonees plakkaatboek: plakkaten en andere wetten uitgevaardigd door het Nederlandse bestuur op Ceylon, 1638-1796, Lodewijk Hovy (ed.) (2 vol., Hilversum, 1991) – for Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
  • Klein plakkaatboek van Nederland : verzameling van ordonnantiën en plakkaten betreffende regeeringsvorm, kerk en rechtspraak, (14e eeuw tot 1749), A.S. de Blécourt en N. Japikse (ed.) (Groningen 1919) – a selection of ordinances concerning government, church and the judiciary
  • Overijsselse plakkatenlijst : lijst der rechtsvoorschriften vastgesteld voor de provincie Overijssel gedurende het tijdvak 1528-1810, S.J. Fockema Andreae and W. Downer (eds.) (Utrecht 1961)
  • Groninger plakkaatboek 1594-1848: lijst van uit- en inwendige rechtsvoorschriften, de provincie Groningen rakende (…), S.J. Fockema Andreae and F.J.L. Berkenvelder (eds.) (Groningen 1961)
  • J. de Bruijn, Plakkaten van tad en lande. Overzicht van Groningse rechtsvoorschriften in de periode 1594-1795 (Groningen 1983)
  • Drentsch Plakkaatboek, J.G.Ch. Joosting (ed.) (Leiden 1912) – continued in Drentse plakkatenlijst, 1593-1840, P. Brood (ed.) (Bussum 1975)
  • Kerkelyk plakaat-boek, behelzende plakaaten, ordonnantien, ende resolutien, over de kerkelyke zaken, Nikolaas Wiltens et alii (eds.) (5 vol., ‘-s-Gravenhage 1722-1807) – ordinances and decisions concerning the churches in the Dutch Republic, also available online (Hathi Trust Digital Library)

The blog Bona Politia is working on an overview of digitized placaetboeken, currently in a preliminary version. The Huygens Instituut will digitize in the project REPUBLIC all Early Modern resolutions of the States General. Here a succinct overview of some digitized works:

  • Nederlandtsche placcaet-boeck: vvaerinne alle voornaemste placcaten, ordonnantien, accorden, ende andere acten (…) sedert […) 1581 (2 vol., Amsterdam: Janssen, 1644) – vol. 1, vol. 2 (UB Ghent)
  • Hollandts placcaet-boeck (…) (Amsterdam: Janssen, 1645) – online, Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • Groot placaet-boek (…) Staten Generael ende (…) Staten van Holland en West-Vrieslandt (…), Cornelis Cau et alii (eds.) (9 vol., ‘s-Gravenhage-Amsterdam 1658-1795) – vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5, vol. 6, vol. 7, vol. 8, vol. 9 (UB Utrecht) – with the Repertorium of generaal register over de negen deelen van het Groot Placaatboek, Joannes van der Linden (ed.) (Amsterdam 1797) – online, UB Utrecht
  • Groot placaat en charter-boek van Vriesland (…), Georg Frederik thoe Schwartzenberg en Hohenlansberg (ed.) (6 vol., Leeuwarden: Coulon (1-4) and Post (5-6), 1768-1795) – volumes 1-4 online, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich; vol. 5 and vol. 6 (Delpher/Google)
  • Groot Geldersch Placaet-boeck (…), Willem van Loon and Henricus Cannegieter (eds.) (3 vol., Nijmegen-Arnhem: Van Goor, 1701-1740) – vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3 (UB Nijmegen) – with the Register der stucken, begrepen in alle deelen des Groot Gelderschen Placaet-boecks (Arnhem: Van Goor, 1740), online, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle
  • Groot Placaatboek vervattende alle de Placaten, Ordonantien en Edicten, der Edele Mogende Heeren Staten ‘s Lands van Utrecht (…) tot het jaar 1728, Johan van de Water (ed.) (3 vol., Utrecht: Van Poolsum 1729) – vol.1, vol. 2, vol. 3 (UB Utrecht) – with the register Generale inhoud van alle de placaten (…) Groot Utrechtsch Placaetboek (Utrecht: Van Poolsum, 1733) – online, UB Utrecht
  • Mr. Johan van de Water’s Groot plakaatboek ‘s lands van Utrecht aangevuld en vervolgd tot het jaar 1810, C.W. Moorrees and P.J. Vermeulen (eds.) (2 vol., Utrecht 1856-1860) – online, Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • Ordonnantien Statuten, Edicten ende Placcaten, ghepubliceert in de landen van hervvaerts-ouer byzonder in Vlaendren (…) (Ghent: Van der Steene, 1559) – online, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
  • Placcaeten Ordonnantien Land-Chartres Blyde-Incomsten Privilegien, ende Instructien By de Princen van dese Neder-landen, aen de Inghestenen van Brabandt, Vlaenderen, ende andere Provincien, t’sedert t’Iaer M.CC.XX. (…), Antonius Anselmo, Jean-Baptiste Christyn and Jozef Michiel Wouters (eds.) (10 vol., Antwerpen: Aertssens, 1648-1770) – online, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich

The Huygens Instituut / Institute for Dutch History has digitized a large number of its publications in searchable online versions.

For Belgium:

  • Cabinet minutes, National Archives, Brussels – a digital version of the cabinet minutes created between 1917 and 1979
  • Finding aid Raad van Vlaanderen, National Archives – the archive of the high court of Flanders kept at Ghent [Inventaris van het archief van de Raad van Vlaanderen (Rijksarchief te Gent) (9 vol., Brussels 1964-1979)]
  • Just-his.be – The socio-political history of justice administration in Belgium (1795-2005), databases at Louvain on Belgian judicial magistrates between 1795 and 1950, a research repository and Belgian criminal statistics (only accessible after registration)
  • Justice & Populations – a research projetc of fourteen institutions concerning the Belgian judiciary in its widest sense and Belgian society in an international context from 1795 onwards until the present
  • Sammlung Alff, Pamphlets on the revolution in Brabant and Liège, Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln – at Cologne some 600 pamphlets from the end of the eighteenth century have been digitized
  • Scabinatus 4000, Université de Liège – verdicts of the échevins in Liège between 1409 and 1797; registers for 1409 to 1510 are also separately available online
  • Itinera Nova, Stadsarchief Leuven and Universität Köln – scabinal registers from 1362 to 1795
  • Recueil des Circulaires, National Archives, Brussels – official letters sent by the Belgian Ministry of Justice

Several websites deal with Dutch and Belgian palaeography, the study of old handwriting, which you might need when deciphering and reading handwritten sources. You can find more resources and tutorials at the special palaeography page: