Clifford B. Anderson: Abraham Kuyper as Publisher – Analyzing the Finances of De Heraut and De Standaard. Abstract #4 (random order)

“Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) played many roles throughout his long career—from scholar to pastor to Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1901-1905). He was also a leading journalist of his era, acting for almost fifty years as editor-in-chief of two papers: De Heraut (The Herald), a weekly church paper, and De Standaard (The Standard), a daily newspaper. His publications in these papers fueled much of his reform agenda on the Dutch political and ecclesiastical scene.

Kuyper’s editorial activities flourished in the wake of the States General’s abolition of the newspaper stamp act (dagbladzegel) on July 1, 1869. Kuyper took over editorial (and financial) responsibility for De Heraut and De Standaard in 1871 and 1872 respectively. The financial status of these papers was always tenuous, especially during the first years of Kuyper’s editorial activities. However, the data for more precise analysis of the finances of these papers are difficult to analyze because the relevant information remains embedded in budgets, contracts, correspondence, forecasts, ledgers, and other archival documents.

My aim is to provide a fuller account of the finances of Abraham Kuyper’s journalistic activities by extracting financial data from his papers and from the archives of the journals and putting that information into more computationally tractable form. As with many archival projects, the data are incomplete and not readily comparable. For example, ledgers exist for some years but not for the majority of this period. The financial condition of the papers will need to be pieced together by comparing various sources and providing common fiscal denominators. By making the data more tractable and analyzable, scholars may gain greater insight into how Abraham Kuyper kept his papers financially viable and, perhaps, also trace the influence of financial supporters on his editorial agenda.

To achieve this aim, I encode portions of the archival documents at my disposal in TEI using the TEI P5 customization file and techniques piloted by Kathryn Tomasek and Syd Bauman. Among the topics in digital scholarship I explore in tandem with my historical study is how encoding historical financial data in TEI differs from marking up contemporary financial reports using XBRL, the eXtensible Business Reporting Language. Are these XML schema complimentary or simply alternatives? In addition, I demonstrate how to extract historic financial data from the XML-encoded versions of these archival documents using XQuery and how to visualize patterns in that data with the statistical programming language R.”

Clifford Anderson (Vanderbilt University; Nashville, TN)

Presentation: Oct 23, 10.25-10.45 a.m., University of Regensburg, Großer Sitzungssaal des Philosophikums (PT 3.0.79) [PROGRAMME]



Picture credits: Abraham Kuyper – Voorzitter van de Ministerraad (1901-1905), {{PD-old}} , via Wikimedia Commons

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