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Historical emergency aid in Drenthe: A research commissioned by the Drents Archief

A project from Britt Postema and Gerjan Brinksma within the Atelier Living Heritage

‘...soon, from the neighboring hamlets and villages, many schouten, veldwachten, schutterijen and humane citizens arrived, who then, with the help of the local police, maintained good order as much as possible, among which especially the mayor of Assen, the schout of Smilde, the schutterijen, and more others excelled.’

This is how the Arnhemsche Courant of 19 August 1820 described a fire in the Drenthe village of Beilen. We are Britt Postema and Gerjan Brinksma, students MA History Today, and in our project at the Drents Archief we are focusing on situations like this. In 2022, it will be 350 years since the Rampjaar (Disaster Year) of 1672. This year is therefore widely covered and in October the theme of the Month of History is 'What a Disaster!'. We decided to centre our project around this theme as well. We ask ourselves the question: What emergency aid has been provided in Drenthe since the Disaster Year 1672?

Men extinguishing the peat fire in Emmer-Erfscheidenveen, 11 October 1933. (Drents Archief, Collection Het Noorden in Woord en Beeld)
Men extinguishing the peat fire in Emmer-Erfscheidenveen, 11 October 1933. (Drents Archief, Collection Het Noorden in Woord en Beeld)

Using the archival material of the Drents Archief and other published sources such as newspapers and literary works, we will try to map out the various forms of emergency aid in Drenthe. By doing this over a longer period of time, we want to show developments in the field of emergency aid and other social mechanisms. We will develop this research into a proposal for a public product in the form of a blog. This blog, shared via social media and the archive’s website, could then be launched in the Month of History 2022.

Last modified:08 March 2022 10.45 a.m.
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