There is not a lot of archival material relating to Anne of Cleves or her two sisters during their time at home. And there are mostly summaries of documents in the Letters and Papers. The original documents are being digitised so it’s been worthwhile to search for them documents every so often.
The North Rhine Westfallen documents are also being digitised, many documents that were in the Cologne Archives were photographed in the first half of the 20th century and those images are being uploaded as well. They were all on microfilm and I think were part of the same recording effort as what has now become bildindex.de.
Some of these images are too small for me to read, but saving them has meant I have an idea of just how much information is in them, and to keep looking for transcriptions.
What has emerged from the documents already available and the artwork is that despite the combined Duchies surrounding the entire region of Cologne there was very little influence in either direction. There does seem to be some influence between the Combined Duchies and the Duchy of Glederland, which seems to have two concurrent styles showing influence from both the Netherlands and the Combined Duchies.
The documents I have been able to read also suggest this difference, and this is why still now 16 years on I still don’t have the correct terms for what Anne wore in her paintings. I am pretty sure I have the correct term for her style of hat, I just need to finish that article, but it’s possibly not the only term, and it’s possibly not accurate for Anne’s specific headgear.
It’s also not helped by there being no real agreed on spelling for recent transcriptions, and the spelling in the documents mean modern search engines can’t offer suggestions for searches.
And it’s complicated further by having multiple databases that contain different information and use very different formats.
So today I start to tidy folders of archives because over the years I’ve had different ideas of how to organise them. But I think I do now have a better idea.