Around the year 2000 there was great optimism about the development of research facilities as a result of the ongoing digitization of historical resources in the humanities. Ten years later, the progress made is not as big as was expected. Poor quality of most digital files, in combination with a lack of co-operation, keeps the development of the „digital humanities‟ at a low pace. The Digital Library of Dutch Letters is a relatively small, but steady growing highly standardized website, which contains by now about two million pages of transcribed sources from the Middle Ages until our days. In order to demonstrate the performance of its search engine, the author focuses on a dispute among Dutch scholars on the degree of involvement of Dutch literature in the international romantic movement. Taking into account the limited scope of the available digitized resources from the romantic period, a few simple surveys show the worth of simple search strategies by well chosen keywords, on the basis of a homogenic well-structured database. Romanticism does indeed seem to have arrived relatively late in Dutch letters.