Meertens Institute

Centre type

Meertens Institute

The Meertens Institute is an institute of the Royal Netherlands' Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). It was founded in 1932 as a bureau for the documentation of Dutch dialects. In later years, Dutch ethnology and onomastics have been included in the documentative tasks of the institute. At this moment, the Meertens Institute is primarily a research institute with substantial collections in the fields of language variation, European ethnology and onomastics. In the past 15 years the institute has worked on making these collections available in a digital format and in open access through the website of the institute ( Recently, the Meertens’ collections are becoming available to the research community using CLARIN infrastructure guidelines and best practices. In addition, the Meertens Institute has developed, in collaboration with other CLARIN partners, a variety of tools and services are developed that may be accessed through the institute’s servers. Next to CLARIN, Meertens is leading the Nederlab project, creating a large diachronic corpus of Dutch and providing a user-friendly exploitation tool
The institute is an active participant in first the Dutch CLARIN and now CLARIAH organisation. It led large infrastructure projects in CLARIN NL such as Search&Develop and TTNWW, and it was involved in the IIP infrastructure project. It also participated in several smaller Clarin-projects. Currently Meertens is leading the CLARIAH NL WP3 work package. The Meertens CLARIN centre representative, Daan Broeder, is also the Dutch representative in the CLARIN EU centre committee. Currently Meertens is in a clustering process with its KNAW sister institutes HuygensING and IISG: the KNAW Humanities Cluster (HuC). This will lead to further collaboration also between the collection and archiving management of the three institutes. As first step the Meertens CLARIN centre has renamed to Meertens/HuC CLARIN centre.

Centre scope

Focus Examples
relevant for the study of function, meaning and coherence of cultural expressions and resources relevant for the structural, dialectological and sociolinguistic study of language variation within the Dutch language typological databases for Dutch dialects, descriptions of Dutch songs, databases of Dutch names, etc. For more examples, see here

Research domain


Contact details

Coordination: Daan Broeder
Technical Matters: Menzo Windhouwer
Postal Address: Postbus 94264, 1090 GG Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 4628500
Fax: +31 20 462 85 55