This special web collection contains a selection of archived websites from the Chinese community in the Netherlands. The Chinese have been in the Netherlands for more than 100 years. (The first Chinese merchant arrived in Middelburg in 1600.) They are very active in the Dutch society. In the Netherlands, the presence and activity of the Chinese are better known for their Chinese restaurants, Chinese supermarkets, Chinese New Year, and Chinatowns in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague in the Netherlands.
The current web collections at the KB-NL do only contain a few websites about or from immigrant communities. Therefore, in February 2018, the KB-NL welcomed a Chinese intern, Kitty Lin, who was born and raised in China, and the intern joined the web archiving team until mid-July of that year. With someone who had no problem understanding Chinese, we were able to build our first special web collection of an immigrant community. This intern was studying a master’s program Heritage and Memory Studies at University of Amsterdam (UvA) when we started this special web collection. Therefore, this “Chinese Netherlands” web collection is based on the intern’s aspect as one of the members in the communities and her knowledge in heritage and memory studies.
This special web collection is the first which maps the born digital culture of a Chinese community outside China and the second collection of a diasporic community. (See for example the British Library web archive on the French diaspora (2012-2014, 116 sites) and the Russian diaspora (2018-, under construction). The collection aims to develop a richer understanding of the role of the digital in creating and sustaining Chinese diasporic connections and communities in the Netherlands, and of how this specific diasporic group and individuals transform and shape born digital tools, technologies and texts for their own creative and strategic purposes in Dutch society.
The collection consists of 446 websites. Because of the amount of websites and the diversity of sites, 17 categories are created for the “Chinese Netherlands” web collection. The categories are: Shops, Restaurants and Food, Blogs, Culture, Art and History, Education, Language Schools, Chinese Professionals, Religious Groups, Informational Platform, Sino-Dutch Relationship Groups, Festivals and Rituals, (Chinese) Immigrants Groups, News and Media, Politics and Social Issues, (Chinese) Overseas Students, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and (Chinese) Representative Offices.
Information about the collection and its heritage value can be found in a collection description (in English) a collection description in Traditional Chinese and one in Simplified Chinese. The collection can be studied on the terminals in the reading room of KB with a valid library card. Researches can also use the dataset with URL’s (note: UTF-8 encoding) and a link analysis.
The Dutch daily newspaper NRC and the Chinese newspaper United Times have written on this special web collection.