NL-Lab is a research group in the KNAW Humanities Cluster. Within this cluster of humanities research institutes, NL-Lab was founded in 2019 as a collaboration between Huygens ING and the Meertens Institute. NL-Lab consists of a multidisciplinary team that researches Dutch culture and identity in the past and present.


NL-Lab is an experimental lab: we seek answers to questions about how, where, and by whom Dutch culture and identity are and were formed, felt, and transferred. We don’t claim that we can determine what Dutch identity is or was; we don’t verify, we test.


NL-Lab is an innovative lab: we combine new and old methods. We use archive research, discourse analysis and ethnography in combination with digital and performative methods. This includes computer analyses of language use, as well as reconstructions of historical spaces, smells and tastes.


NL-Lab is a social lab: we bring together people from different research fields and professions in order to learn from each another and do joint research on Dutch culture and identity. In doing so, we also want to attract and train young researchers.

NL-Lab regularly organises research activities, such as experiments and tests. For more information, see our programme of events.