News from “Hidden Deventer”

Due to the modern “plague” Katharina Kerstkens had to postpone the festive launch of the Hidden Deventer app to a later date. 

As soon as the Hidden Deventer app had become available, the local media immediately picked up the news and several articles were published in the newspaper De Stentor, and the local television Deventer TV. The app is also highlighted on the website of the Deventer Tourist Office. Since the launch the Hidden Deventer app has already been downloaded 1810 times by individual users for a total of 4,737 sessions. 

The Groningen research team and the Deventer Athenaeumbibliotheek are now organising an exhibition about Katherina’s prayer book that plays a central role in the story of the Hidden Deventer walk, and other books from their collection that were once read and cherished in the houses of the Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life in Deventer: “Boekcultuur in 15e-eeuws Deventer” (The Culture of Books in 15th-century Deventer, 22 December 2021 – 26 March 2022). 

The exhibition will also mark the festive launch of the Hidden Deventer app, which will probably take place early January 2022, in order to present it to the inhabitants of Deventer and the local heritage institutions. There are even some rumours that Katherina herself is planning to attend the event and that there might be minstrels as well. 

The Groningen research team continues to expand its digital public outreach initiatives. 

Firstly, the team was awarded with a 7,000-euro prize for a 3D Digital Humanities project entitled “Broeders 3D”, which will be an addition to the Hidden Deventer walk. Broeders 3D is an interactive 3D recreation of the interior space of the Heer Florens-huis in Deventer, the new housing of the Brothers constructed around 1435. Only two wall fragments of the original building survive. Based on similar historical buildings in Deventer the interior space of the Brothers’ house is now revived as a digital space, including 3D models of original fifteenth-century furniture from museums and private collections, and 3D models of books that were once copied and kept in the Heer Florens-huis and that are now in the collection of the Athenaeumbibliotheek. With one click the visitor can leaf through the book in the online digital collections of the library. 

Broeders 3D is an interactive 3D model, as the visitor can not only move through the interior space, but they can also ask questions to a virtual brother about how to live a good life. His helpful suggestions are all taken from the original “collationes” of the Deventer Brothers: not complete sermons, but friendly admonishments, based on the Bible and key spiritual texts from the Modern Devout. The interactive conversation with one of the Brothers is based on Dr Pieter Boonstra’s doctoral thesis. Pieter is one of the researchers involved in the creation the Hidden Deventer app. 

Secondly, the Groningen research group has received a 10,000-euro prize for its public outreach activities “Wetenschapscommunicatie door wetenschappers: gewaardeerd!” (Public outreach by scientists: appreciated!) awarded by the Dutch Academy of Sciences and the Dutch Ministry of Education and Science. This new public history project is entitled “Van tablet tot tablet” (From (clay) tablet to tablet). It will consist of a short YouTube film and a freely downloadable educational package for 12 to 14 year-old students pointing out the similarities between late-medieval and modern reading techniques. In addition, four podcasts for teachers and the wider public will be produced, each discussing particularities of reading cultures and information retrieval in the fifteenth century. 

Finally, the Groningen team continues to publish international scholarly articles that aim to contribute to the further development of spatial approaches to the history of religious reading and writing, as well as religious knowledge transfer in urban contexts of the Low Countries, France, and Italy during the long fifteenth century. Professor Sabrina Corbellini and Dr Margriet Hoogvliet have opened a special collection “Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places of Knowledge” in the international online scholarly journal “The Foucaldien”, including a scientific contribution and an article “Writing as a religious lieu de savoir”. Margriet Hoogvliet has edited a special issue of the online journal “Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture” (Volume 7, issue 4 (2021), dedicated to spatial questions and GIS mapping in the Humanities, including a scientific introduction by Professor David J. Bodenhamer (Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis). This special issue also contains an article co-authored by Margriet Hoogvliet and Dr David Rivaud (Université de Tours, CESR): “Tours around 1500: Deep Mapping Scribes, Booksellers, and Printers”, which is one of the results of historical research underpinning the new walk “Hidden Tours”.  

Sabrina Corbellini and Margriet Hoogvliet


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