"Holland" is not a country

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@spUdux has spotted a comedy error that is far to common in the database.

“Holland” is not a country, but many people select it due to “Made in Holland” on a cover. Especially for those UDEN CDs. Well, not only is UDEN not even in North\South Holland disctrict, but the “Holland” area in MB is a historical one that has not existed since 1840.


Can I suggest something to the style gurus? Can we just merge this historic “Holland” with the Netherlands and just set Holland as an alias to Netherlands?

Look at every entry currently under “Holland” and none of them should be there.

Original discussion here:


Also, under “alias” for Netherlands we need to change “Holland” to wider than just Estonia. Much of the world used to call Netherlands - Holland. Well, at least I know English speaking areas do this. Search would pick it up better then.

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Im confused about where you would like feedback. There’s a link to the edit note. Is this the correct place for a style guide discussion?

i’m on board with merging these, it’s like united kingdom vs great britain.

Wherever you want to discuss - here makes more sense I guess as it is a “forum”. I am just interested in this as I hadn’t noticed that “Holland” as MB defined it wasn’t the Netherlands. I’ve accidentally been selecting the wrong entity for years.

@sammyrayy yeah - kinda like that same confusion of naming of GB and UK. Most people are meaning Netherlands when they select Holland.

I mainly said “merge” as it didn’t make sense to have the old entity which is bringing so many bad additions to it and has zero correct entries. Especially as that disambig is never shown when selecting it.

(I am trying to avoid a geography debate… more trying to work out better labelling some how?)


That’s why the authorities have started a rebranding in late 2019 :wink:



Apparently Dutch people (even in Holland provinces) would call the country Nederland but would not be annoyed that most foreigners call it Holland.

But then? In 2020 (I don’t know how official and correct are all these links):

On 1 January 2020 the name Holland officially ceases to exist as a designation of the Netherlands State.


The government believes the measure will allow the country to get rid of its image in a drug and prostitution setting.

Which is not won yet and you can add tax evasion to this shameful palmarès. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I was trying to avoid the geography lesson as I assumed other people understood or could Google it themselves.

MB does not use that “Holland”. Click on “Holland” in MB and it is a specific historic term they are using that only existed between 866 and 1840. Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland have their own separate areas.

I don’t get why that “Holland” is an option in this database.

Back when I was a kid in the UK we called Netherlands - Holland. then some point at the turn of the century it started being called The Netherlands. Most noticeable with football tournaments. I guess the BBC looked it up on a map and realised they needed to use the correct country and not just a couple of counties.

Edit: I don’t know what you did to the title edit @jesus2099 , but it is weird that it will not allow a big N for Netherlands in the tags.


I thought all topic tags were lowercase?

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@sound.and.vision I guess they are. Which is kinda wrong when you are trying to discuss countries.

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I’m also confused about that. Maybe open an AREQ title to get rid of it or get an explanation?


No idea what one of those is. So I’ll leave this to the Devs who Know. :slight_smile:

Maybe we have artists born in this historical area?


But they will also be born in The Netherlands. Other areas in MB are based on current naming.

I think with birth place we don’t want to have anachronism with a new entity.
If someone was born in a village, we want that village name, not the named of the big megalopolis that replaced many villages and towns. :wink:

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Have you looked at the list? Anyone you can find on there that this is relevant to?

Notice Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland is also included. This historic oddity is an overlap that is only causing errors in the database.

If someone is born in the districts of North or South Holland then it can be selected.

We are not allowed to have West Germany. Instead we must use Germany. There are many other places like this in the database. (There is a very old thread about this debate many years back)

There are many anachronistic birthplaces, and unless (until? if?) MB gets proper historical territories it will also be so. For example:

Edgar Froese was not born in Sovetsk, Kaliningrad, Russia – he was born in Tilsit, East Prussia, Germany. We probably can’t use the flag of Germany as it was in 1944, but we should acknowledge the correct country of birth.


Thanks for bringing this up here to the wider audience/discussion. Apologies for the silence from my end, I’ve been much too busy with other matters lately.

Looks like we have stumbled on something that raises a few separate issues:

  • Do we need Holland?
  • Area disambiguations are not shown when searching/selecting areas;
  • What @bflaminio pointed out - we really need a better way to handle situations like that. Shouldn’t all the area edit/select fields be accompanied by a “Credited as:” field?

Also pinging @drsaunde, the only location editor I’m aware of, maybe you can share your thoughts?

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Coincidentally, here is the back of the cd case for my copy of Bob Seger’s greatest hits, with the words “Printed in Holland” from 1994.

Will I be able to enter this? or will I need to know that Holland is really the Netherlands?

on the actual cd, it says “Made in the EU” . Note the distinction between printing the artwork and making the CD!


This case should be credited to the Netherlands, with “Holland” in the “credited as” field.