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'The Dutch East India Company's shipping, 1602-1795, in a comparative perspective'

F.S. Gaastra en J.R. Bruijn
Amsterdam: Aksant,

Interest in de Dutch East India Company (VOC), its ships and its trade with the Far East, has grown steadily over the past two decades. Objects recovered from shipwrecks, replicas of ships and exhibitions have attracted considerable attention, and several new monographs and general studies on the VOC have been published. The upsurge of interest in the contacts with Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is not confined to the Netherlands alone. Scholars in other parts of Western Europe are likewise researching the history of their countries’ East India companies. A comparative study of the activities of all European East India companies initiated some years ago by Professor J.R. Bruijn and Dr F.S. Gaastra of the history department of Leiden University brought together historians from Portugal, France, Britain, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. The tangible result of the conference is a collection of seven essays on the trade with the East conducted by the various companies from the sixteenth tot the eighteenth centuries, all focused on the same themes of their navigational organisation, trade routes, passage times and ships’ companies, and the full scale of the voyages to and from the Indies. Much of the quantitative material was hitherto unknown, and this is the first such international comparison. Its shows quite clearly that the VOC occupied a dominant position in many respects. The many statistics will add to its value as a source of reference for many years to come.

Gepubliceerd in: 
F.S. Gaastra en J.R. Bruijn (red.), Ships, sailors and spices. East India companies and their shipping in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. pag 177-208

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