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Project

Care for the vulnerable in the 19th and early 20th centuries

The support of the vulnerable in our society is a hot issue; not only today, but also the past. In the past one discovers discussions by governmental institutions and churches about the question who takes care of the people living under difficult circumstances. In the meantime a lot of research has been conducted in this area, but new methods and new data keep this research topic very much alive.

The main purpose of the study is to gain a better understanding of how care was provided to the vulnerable in the nineteenth/beginning of the twentieth century. Besides other potential stakeholders like the church, government, neighbors and friends, particularly the role of the family will be studied. This study tries, on the basis of detailed data on individuals in their daily circumstances, to provide new insights in these issues.

The research focuses on the period between 1840 and 1930. Detailed data from the archives of Woerden, a small town in the center of Netherlands, are used. Based upon those data, life courses of individuals and their living conditions will be reconstructed. Next to population and civil registers, data will be used from charity registers from churches, as well from the local government. Additionally secondary sources, which tell more about the situation the individuals were living in, are also used; for example tax registers.

The study consists of two main components. In the first part individual life courses will be described. Secondly individual life courses will be translated into a model based upon individual characteristics to calculate the chances to survive hard times.

Jan de Bray (1663) Het verzorgen van weeskinderen

Jan de Bray (1663) Het verzorgen van de kinderen van het Arme-Kinderhuis: drie Werken van Barmhartigheid (Caring for children at the Orphanage in Haarlem: three Acts of Mercy)

Publications

Beekink, E. & Kok, J. (2017),
Temporary and lasting effects of childhood deprivation on male stature. Late adolescent stature and catch-up growth in Woerden (The Netherlands) in the first half of the nineteenth century. The History of the Family 22 (2-3): 196-213. [URL]
Kok, J., Beekink, E. & Bijsterbosch, D. (2017),
Environmental influences on young adult male height. A comparison of town and countryside in the Netherlands, 1815-1900. Historical Life Course Studies 4: 165-180. [URL]

Researchers



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