Working on Water: the Hygienist Movement in Utrecht (1866-1900)

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This article approaches the hygienist movement as a social health movement, a complex societal campaign aiming to alter norms and arrangements regarding hygiene and thereby improve public health. This perspective is applied to a very specific topic: drinking water arrangements in the city of Utrecht (1866-1900). Archival study indicates that not only medical doctors contributed to the functioning of the hygienist movement, as is often assumed, but also ‘regular’ citizens, for example by providing the movement with money, information and services. By showing this, the article enhances our understanding of citizens’ relations with local public health arrangements in the nineteenth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-64
Number of pages18
JournalTijdschrift voor Geschiedenis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • social health movements
  • hygiene
  • citizenship
  • Utrecht
  • drinking water


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