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WoordWaark expands with 'Geschreven Gronings'!

24 February 2021

The Centre for Groningen Language and Culture (CGTC) recently received a substantial subsidy to expand its language database WoordWaark with a large number of texts from Groningen’s past and present. In the coming year, the project 'Geschreven Gronings' takes on the digitization of all printed Groningen texts from the University Library (UB). The project Geschreven Gronings is part of the larger Spotlight project, in which the UG strives for digitization of academic heritage within the university. Funding for the project comes from the UG Executive Board.

800 titles
The University Library possesses a carefully built up, but hardly accessible collection of Groningen printed material from the 18th century onwards. By digitizing the approximately 800 available titles, scientific research into the Groningen language is given a boost or is being put in the spotlight, but also much historical Groningen material is now directly available for the wider (Groninger) public in the form of e-books. This text material also makes it easier for the user of WoordWaark to learn the exact meaning of Groningen words on the basis of example sentences.

Test run
The project started with a small team of employees on 1 January 2021. First, a test run will be carried out to properly set up the process of scanning and recognising text, in order to optimise the software.After that, it will be possible to scale up to the 'real work'. As with the other subprojects of WoordWaark, the help of volunteers is indispensable, explains Professor Goffe Jensma, project leader of WoordWaark: "Involving citizens in this scientific project is important for the research into the regional language, but also contributes to the continued interest in the Groningen language."

Until now the volunteers - the WoordWaarkers - have been busy digitising Groningen dictionaries and survey material from the 1980s and 2000s. This year the project 'Written Groningen' has been added. Volunteers scan the books, check the scans for reading errors in the text and add descriptions of the language used in the printed material and its origin. When the three large databases (dictionaries, Groningen printed material and language variation) are eventually linked, CGTC hopes to be able to provide a good image of the variations and changes within the Groningen language over the last two centuries.

Centre for Groningen Language and Culture (CGTC)
The Centre for Groningen Language and Culture is the service point for immaterial heritage in the province of Groningen. It provides advice about Groningen's intangible heritage, particularly language and culture. The research it conducts into the language, culture and history of Groningen is presented via virtual and physical public activities. The CGTC is partly dependent on volunteers, who can register via the website or

Last modified:04 March 2021 09.14 a.m.
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