About this blog

Photo Otto Vervaart - August 2016This is the blog of Otto Vervaart from Utrecht, The Netherlands. On this blog I like to present news concerning legal history, and news from the perspective of legal history. When possible I will try to cross the frontiers of countries, disciplines and time. Doing legal history is an international activity, but hopefully you will not mind finding some Dutch accents.

The header image of my blog shows a sculpture above the entrance of the former provincial court of justice, later the seat of the arrondisementsrechtbank, the regional tribunal in Utrecht. You can read more about this building, now partially used by Het Utrechts Archief, in my post Traces of legal history in Utrecht.

Start screen Rechtshistorie

My first blog post (December 2009) tells you something about my earlier presence on the web. In March 2010 I launched www.rechtshistorie.nl, a website in Dutch and English for legal history which will gradually replace the information on my old home page. Your questions and comments are welcome by e-mail to info [at] rechtshistorie [dot] nl.

In February 2013 I launched a second blog, Glossae – Middeleeuwse juridische glossen in beeld [Glossae. Looking at medieval legal glosses], to accompany a project for the edition of medieval juridical glosses using digital tools. A manuscript fragment from the late twelfth century is the core of this blog. The Glossae blog is a part of the Hypotheses network.

At Digital 1418, a website I started in February 2014, you can search conveniently for digital projects concerning the First World War. Currently it contains some 300 descriptions of projects supported by additional tags.

Personal information

I studied history at Utrecht University, specializing in medieval history (M.Litt. 1988). The law faculty of the Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam supported my research for my Ph.D. In 1994 I graduated with a thesis on Nicolaas Everaerts (Nicolaus Everardi, around 1462-1532) and his book on juridical argumentation [Studies over Nicolaas Everaerts (1462-1532) en zijn Topica (Arnhem 1994)]. I have been a post-doc at the University of Munich where I catalogued the books of the library of the Stephan-Kuttner-Institute of Medieval Canon Law, since 2013 located at Yale University’s Lillian Goldman Law Library. Later on I have worked at the Centre for Dutch Monastic Archives, now the Center for the Heritage of Dutch Monastic Life at Cuijk-St. Agatha, and at the general library of a Dutch religious congregation, the Brothers of Tilburg.

From June 2016 until the end of 2019 I worked as a project archivist at Het Utrechts Archief, the combined municipal and provincial archives in Utrecht, in particular assisting in the creation of two new finding aids, for the medieval bishops of Utrecht (toegang 218-1) and for castle Hardenbroek (toegang 1010), an uncommonly diverse conglomerate of a family and house archive. It contains personal papers and archival collections from several families covering seven centuries, good for nearly 7,000 items. In Autumn 2020 I worked as a project archivist for Special Collections at Utrecht University Library, dealing in particular with medieval and Early Modern charters; a second phase of this project took place from May to August 2021. In July 2022 I started as a staff member at the Regionaal Archief Zuid-Utrecht, Wijk bij Duurstede.


The inclusion at this blog of links to websites does not imply any involvement with them or an endorsement of views expressed on them. I cannot take any responsibility for them and the information they provide. There is no intention of offering legal opinions or advice on this site.


The information on this website has been brought together to help you getting information about legal history. You can use the information on this website freely. When you quote text fragments or commented link lists I expect you to acknowledge its source appropriately.

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