Historian Rozemarijn Moes receives prize for research on population of Gelderland

Date of news: 16 November 2022

On 16 November, historian Rozemarijn Moes will receive the Martens van Sevenhoven prize for her research on the historical demography of Gelderland. Moes made a reconstruction of the population of Gelderland from prehistory to the present, mapping the development of the province. Her research is part of the large-scale project Verhaal van Gelderland.


The Martens van Sevenhoven prize is awarded by Stichting Fonds A.H. Martens van Sevenhoven. As state archivist in Gelderland, Jonkheer A.H. Martens van Sevenhoven (1880-1952) was connected to the history of the province. He placed his family fortune in a fund from which a prize is still awarded periodically in the field of museums, monuments and historical research in Gelderland. The award consists of a medal and a cash prize.

Gelderland demographics

10 November 2022 saw the publication of Verhaal van Gelderland, a four-volume book telling the history of Gelderland. More than thirty authors and editors collaborated on this project, led by Dolly Verhoeven, special professor of Gelderland history. This included Rozemarijn Moes, who, as junior demographer, mapped the population of Gelderland from prehistory to the present. Her research was ambitious in nature: for Gelderland, it is the first time such a study has been conducted covering such a long period. At the Gelderse Landdag 2022, Moes' research will be awarded the Martens van Sevenhoven prize.

The reconstruction of the population shows the uniqueness of the province. For instance, Moes discovered that Roman Gelderland was one of the most densely populated areas in Europe. The factors of landscape and location play a major role in the history of Gelderland's population, but developments such as textile industry, paper industry, the decline during regional unrest, or the modern popularity of wooded residential areas are also nicely reflected in the study. According to Moes, the results put things into perspective: 'For a few thousand years, people have been living and working on this soil, getting married (or not), having children (or not), and dying. Throughout time, people faced all kinds of crises, from crumbling authority to administrative centralisation, from plague and economic crisis, to wealth and growth, from immigration to emigration. Populations grew, shrank and moved,' says the historian. 'In short: nothing new under the sun.'

The Verhaal van Gelderland publication can be ordered here. The results of Rozemarijn Moes' research can also be found in a voluminous dataset report, accessible via the IISH: Moes, R.M. & Verhoeven, T.H.G. (2021). Demographic data for Guelders. IISH Data Collection [Dataset]. Handle: Full text Moes, R.M. (2021).

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