Combining Data on slavery in Surinam

The project ‘Combining Data on slavery in Surinam’ (CoDoSiS) aims to develop a strategy to convert existing datasets on Surinam slavery into Linked Data by using the CLARIAH wp4-tool QBer and to combine them into one database network with relevant connections using the CLARIN-tool TICCL.

In the past twenty-five years researchers have constructed a number of databases on different aspects of colonial Suriname. Most of these databases are constructed for one specific purpose. They are stand-alone databases which are rarely compatible which each other and which are only to a limited available to researchers. Although most of these sources have a focus on the same period, roughly the last forty years of slavery in Suriname (1825-1863), this lack of compatibility and availability severely restricts their use for research into the social and economic history of slavery in Suriname.

Within CoDoSis we want to combine these databases into a meaningful network, by converting them into the same Linked Data format and by creating relevant connections. Furthermore, we want to sync them with the database of the so-called slave registers of Surinam, the core archival source on Surinam slavery during the period 1830-1863, in which all individual enslaved persons and slave owners are mentioned. This pilot database is currently under development with the support of CLARIAH seed money.

In a later stage, we want to research which new datasets can be found using Linked Data on, for example, local geology, weather conditions and disease environment in Suriname in the research period 1830 to 1863. The result of CoDoSiS will be a database network which forms a foundation on which an demographic database of Surinam can be build, using a life course approach.