Since I made the first version of this site in 2005, innumerable new sources and resources re its topic have been made available on the Worldwide Web. These, in many a case, include lists of sites and bibliographies pertaining to the VOC, her history, economy, ships and shipping, the comprehensiveness of which I cannot match.
The possibly most complete site on Dutch East-India Company wrecks is vocsite.nl – in, unsurprisingly, Dutch. Details for several hundred of lost VOC ships are accessible alphabetically; there is a huge bibliography, many further links and lots of background information. Very much similar information on, reportedly, 655 VOC wrecks in English can be found here.
A list of ‘ships built, bought or hired, including also where they were left, wrecked or captured, burned or lost and laid up’ for the years 1603-1778 is in the Dutch National Archives, Den Haag. As far as I am aware, the inventory itself is (as yet?) not available on the internet; I however assume that e.g. this list presents data found in that catalogue.
Information on the great company herself is, again in Dutch, available here. People preferring English find a concise collection of links here; if you like to read more detailed scholarly works, try, e.g., this link to a .pdf version of Robert Parthesius’ 2010 Dutch Ships in Tropical Waters, a discussion of the development of the VOC’s shipping and trade until 1660.
Information on the types of ships used by the VOC can be found here, here and, with lots of illustrations, here.
A number of recent digitalisation projects now allow online access to many of the records of the VOC. Below a short list of the sites I found most useful for the present purposes, and the abbreviations here used.
- DAS – is a searchable database containing records of the Dutch East India Company’s shipping between the Netherlands and Asia, 1595-1795, based on Bruijn, J. R. et al.’s 1987 work Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th Centuries, the first volume of which has also been published online.
- DR – Dagh-Register gehouden in’t Casteel Batavia … [‘Daily Journals of Batavia Castle …’]. 31 volumes of these registers were transcribed and printed between 1887-1931 by the Dutch Landsarchief and the Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, Batavia, and now are online here and here. Truly serious researchers can additionally consult scans of the surviving originals held at Indonesia’s National Archives.
- GM – Generale Missiven van Gouverneurs-Generaal en Raden aan Heren XVII … [‘General Resolutions of the Governor General and his Advisers to the Gentlemen XVII’], the yearly reports of the Batavia government to the Board of the VOC (for the nature of which see these explanations). Most useful is the searchable and indexed archive of the Missiven from 1610-1761; scans of the tens of thousands of original handwritten pages, dating from 1613 to 1810, are found here. Please refer to the links on the latter site to access various indices and further sources.
- TANAP – a project around the VOC records worldwide: http://www.tanap.net/index.htm. You can search in the VOC archives, scan through various indices, or consult the sites of the individual archive holders (and more …).
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