Hemmy Clevis (1953–2022), Jan Thijssen (1943–2016) and Jaap Kottman founded the Deventer System in 1989 and, together with Peter Bitter and Sebastiaan Ostkamp, who soon joined them, formed the editorial board for many years. They checked the catalogues and issued the new type numbers. Bitter wrote the first manuals and designed the so-called Opzoekschema’s, or Look-up Schemes Deventer System, which included an example of each basic type, classified by fabric, functional category and type. The Look-up Schemes were later converted by Nina Jaspers and Sebastiaan Ostkamp into a 700-page PDF document with bookmarks that was widely used between 2012 and 2019. Since its launch in June 2019, the website has replaced the Look-up Schemes.
Since the online launch, the editorial team has consisted of Sebastiaan Ostkamp, Aleike van de Venne and Mieke Tolboom. With a view to preparing a lecture series, Roos van Oosten has joined as a co-editor. Jan Verhoek (Javinto) administers the website and database. This group distributes a newsletter every six months to keep people informed.
Although a first primitive version of a database was used as early as the research for Cities in Sherds (1999), it has taken more than two decades to come up with a workable online version containing photographs and images of all published Deventer System catalogues. In 2002/2003, the Ruud van Beek Foundation made funds available for a professional database. To make a long story short, three ICT people, many euros and years later, there was still no workable database. In 2017, the Ruud van Beek Foundation provided a second sum, and a contribution was also received from the Smeele Van der Meulen Ceramics Foundation. Jan Verhoek (Javinto) had the honour of announcing the long-awaited launch of the website at the Assembled Articles 6 symposium in Zwolle in June 2019. A personal retrospective of the history of the Deventer System was provided by the late Hemmy Clevis in 2020.