This article demonstrates a media scientific approach by studying the use of photographs in Dutch History textbooks for High School pupils in the period 1970 – 2000. The quantity of photos has been determined as well as the types of pictures and its use as educational tool. Results show that more photographs are published over time, press photographs are used more often and photos function more frequently as educational instrument and are not only used as illustration. However, statistical analysis shows that the rise in educational use of photographs can not be linked at the increasing use of press photos. Nevertheless, three reasons for this increasing educational use are formulated. First, more images are available through archives by the process of digitization and better search techniques. Second, changing curricula and the way learning objectives are defined create better ways to use photographs in textbooks. Third, Dutch authors of history textbooks increasingly pay attention to educational theories. This new generation editors are called ‘hybrid historians’. They are skilled historians and are specialized in didactic methods which help them to utilize pictures as didactical instruments and not only as illustration.

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Verlag Julius Klinkhardt
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Kleppe, M. (2010). Photographs in Dutch History Textbooks: Quantity, type and educational use. In ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Retrieved from