I have initiated a project called ‘War in Parliament’, which entails a study of the impact of the Second World War in post-war political debates and decision-making in the Netherlands.References to the Second World War shaped political debate for many decades. However, we have no systematic knowledge of why, how often, when, by whom or from which political party, and in which context, these references were made. Nor do we know the meanings politicians ascribed to the war years, the lessons the war was supposed to teach, and how all of this influenced political decision-making. Answering these questions will help us better understand the complex legacies of the Second Wold War. With tools developed in the e-sciences we are able to research large corpora and language resources (in this case de Handelingen der Staten-Generaal (Dutch Hansard)) by creating an advanced search engine for this dataset with an intuitive and  powerful query language. However, as a historian and thus used to historical handwork, I am still curious and eager to learn more about the still uncertain path digital humanities provides.

Hinke Piersma