Canon Introduction

What belongs to the Canon De Noordoostpolder is determined by pre-established criteria. On the whole the criterium comes down to: is it important enough to know or to remember? If something is important, it is then determined by the question if it influences the present. Can traces of the past still be found?
What makes the Noordoostpolder so special that we have to learn more about it? What is characteristic for the Noordoostpolder? What actually is so special about it ?

On the basis of these considerations, and after a comprehensive study of the publications over the Noordoostpolder, we have selected thirty events, cases and developments that deserve a spot in the Canon De Noordoostpolder.
Each of these thirty events and etc. are called window ('venster'): and each time we look through these windows, we observe a different aspect of the polder. The windows are ordered chronologically and subsequently grouped into larger frames ( 'ramen').


The first frame deals with the time before the Noordoostpolder existed. This time indeed is part of Noordoostpolder history, as various traces came to the surface during the land reclamation. The second frame deals with the drainage and the exploitation of the polder. There was then a barren plain that had to be organized. In the fourth, buildings appear in the organized land. Then in the fifth frame the people living in these buildings appear. These people work, recreate, go to school or to the doctor. In short: they live in Noordoostpolder, shown as the sixth frame. Finally this society is given planning and direction, in other words: the land is governed ( the final frame).


Each window is discussed in a short text, and this short text itself is again a window to a large amount of information behind it, and referred to in various ways. Each frame is prefaced by a short text, trying to achieve thematic consistency between the different underlying windows. Note that dividing the history of the Noordoostpolder into different windows does not imply that the inhabitants did not experience the history as a continuing story. In each of the windows we try to bring forward the human aspect: how did history occur to those who experienced it? Due to the nature of the window topics this was not always possible, but all authors tried to achieve this.


From this point of view it seems that with publishing the canon all work has been completed, but in fact we are just at the beginning. A canon is not static. A canon does not only deal with history, but also (and at least as strongly) with the way we look at that history. These views can change and will not be the same for everyone. The very last thing the authors of the canon would want to happen is a deep silence descending after publication.


The Canon De Noordoostpolder contributes to raising awareness of the history. Each and everyone, inhabitant or visitor, yet another generation of new comers, (local) historian or student, can read here how special the Noordoostpolder is.

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Map of the Noordoostpolder with centrally located Emmeloord