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Author: Nick Piercey

Jaap Eden: A Very Modern Sportsman

Jaap Eden celebrating a Skating World Championship 1893-1895   In 1895, Jaap Eden, a Haarlem-based horticultural trainee became the first, and so far only, person to claim a world championship of two different sports in the same year – in skating and cycling. But Jaap was more than just his results; he was a man who was one of the first media sporting stars; a man who challenged the fine line between amateur and professional; and one of the first Dutch sportsmen to take advantage of the possibilities of mass communication, transport and advertising. Jacobus Johannes “Jaap” Eden was...

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Spreading the news: Delpher and the development of sports journalism around 1900 Part 2

In 1909, more sport editors appeared. In Amsterdam the Algemeen Handelsblad appointed G. J. Nijland and in Rotterdam, the NRC placed H.A. Meerum Terwogt in the role. This emergence showed that sport was being taken more seriously. Sport was no longer just for a few teenagers or students in the west of the Netherlands, questioned by pedagogues, preachers and politicians, but was, as these youngsters grew up, becoming a more respectable part of daily life supported by politicians, businessmen and industrialists. But the pre-First World War Dutch sporting world was small. Meerum Terwogt was, like many other early sport...

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Spreading the news: Delpher and the development of sports journalism around 1900. Part 1

In 2013, the Royal Dutch Library began an ambitious project. Building on a project started in 1997, and in collaboration with a range of libraries, universities and other institutions across the Netherlands, the aim was to digitise as much of the written Dutch past as possible and make it freely available via the online Delpher portal. To date, the collection has over 60 million digitised pages, from early seventeenth century newspapers to late twentieth century presses. For the sports historian, the project offers a wonderful opportunity to see original match reports, newspaper records of organisational meetings and early action...

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