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About the Meertens Institute

The Meertens Institute, established in 1930, has been a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) since 1952. We focus on the study and documentation of language and culture in the Netherlands, and Dutch language and culture throughout the world. Our focus is on the phenomena that shape everyday life in society.

Our main fields are:

  1. ethnological study of the function, meaning and coherence of cultural expressions
  2. structural, dialectological and sociolinguistic study of language variation within Dutch in the Netherlands, with the emphasis on grammatical and onomastic variation.

The results of our research are presented in a number of publications.

The institute also publishes its own books. We also organize workshops, symposiums and conferences on a regular basis.

Apart from research, the institute also concerns itself with documentation and providing information to third parties in the field of Dutch language and culture. We possess a large library, with numerous collections and a substantive documentation system, of which databases are a substantive part. This data is valuable for researchers working in the areas of language variation and ethnology. The library, collections, and documentation may also be accessed by organizations who transmit knowledge in these fields (museums, media, knowledge institutes). Requests for information may be filed daily. The institute can be reached on business days for appointments to visit the library or specific information requests:

Tel. 020 – 46 28 500