In 2003 the Willem Witsen Society was founded on the initiative of Ester Wouthuysen. The Society sets out to promote the interest in and study of the painter, etcher, photographer and friend of many people who belonged to the artistic 1880s Movement Willem Witsen (1860-1923) and his network by putting on the internet his correspondence and his diaries (scattered over no less than sixteen public institutions and private archives) in both their original form and in transcription so that they are accessible to a wide range of people. Thus they may illustrate the interplay between writers and artists of the 1880s Movement and they will provide a goldmine of information to cultural historical scholars.
The society has started a project organisation and owing to the financial support of cultural funds and private persons the actual process of transcription could start in 2005. During the project the society has worked together with a number of important public institutions such as the Royal Library, the Library of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Institute for Art History, the Huygens Institute and the Digital Library of Dutch Literature. This interaction between public institutions and private initiative resulted in an exemplary cooperation, which brought the result on a much higher level than initially thought.
The transcriptions were made by Erik Ariëns Kappers, Clara Brinkgreve, Diduïne van Delft, Irene de Groot, Mayken Jonkman, Mirjam Koelewijn, Han Meijer, Marianne Meijer, Marian Roos, Maureen Trappeniers, Odilia Vermeulen, Jessica Voeten, Ester Wouthuysen. The editorial department consisted of Leo Jansen (editor), Odilia Vermeulen (editor), Marian Roos, Irene de Groot en Ester Wouthuysen.
The Willem Witsen Society could transcribe and edit the correspondance and the diaries of Willem Witsen owing to the financial support of Accenture, Pictura Imagines Heiloo, de Kitty van Vloten Stichting, de Stichting VSBfonds, de M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, de Dr. Hendrik Muller's Vaderlandsch Fonds, de Stichting Pro Musis, de Stichting Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, de Stichting Doelwijk, de Commissie van Beheer van het Witsenfonds, de Stichting Dioraphte and some private persons.
Willem Witsen Foundation
Foundation board: Leo Jansen (chairman), Nicolette de Pater (clerk), Henk Elffers (treasurer), Gerda van Ham (fund raiser), Dolf Rueb, Norbert van den Berg (honorary member and former chairman).