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Marieke Dwarswaard MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Dutch History, Modern & Contemporary History, Biography

Cohort/Start PhD: 2020-2021

A family biography of the Scholten family, a Groningen-based entrepreneur family (1840-1970)

University of Groningen
Promotor(es): Prof. Dr. Mineke Bosch, Dr. Leonieke Vermeer
Aanstelling: vanaf 1 oktober 2020

I will be writing a family biography of the Scholten family. The biography will entail 4 generations, from 1840 up until 1970. In 1840, Willem Albert Scholten started as an entrepreneur in potato starch – he founded a factory that produced this starch in Foxhol, Groningen. Within 30 years, he was the owner of several factories in not only the Netherlands, but also in Germany, Poland and Russia. After his death in 1892, his son, Jan Evert, took over the business. I have been given the task by the Scholten foundation to describe not the history of the Scholten company but to describe the lives of several family members, with a special focus on the women in the Scholten family. The Scholtens have had quite an impact on the cultural and social life of Groningen, within as well as outside of the city. For example, they founded a children’s hospital, are responsible for several architectural structures and they were active in celebrational activities in the city. Within these non-business related activities, female members of the Scholten family were involved.
In my project, I’ll combine the history of this family and the history of Groningen within the theoretical framework of writing a family biography.