The Netherlands: Millions of new scans online

The Netherlands: Millions of new scans online

The National Archives of the Netherlands recently uploaded millions of extra scans online, making research from home much easier.

The National Archives of the Netherlands (NAN) is working hard to improve its website. Recently, millions of extra scans have been uploaded, and a new digital infrastructure makes it easier to navigate through the digitized archives. A substantial part of NAN’s collection is now available online, which makes doing research from home much easier. 

Shared Cultural Heritage Archives 

Amongst the images that are now available on our website are scans of the archives of the Dutch East India Company (finding aid no. 1.04.02) and various (other) colonial archives. Several of these archives have been digitized in recent years as a part of NAN’s Shared Cultural Heritage Programme. The digitized archival material also includes the archives of de so-called pre-companies (voorcompagnieën, finding aid no. 1.04.01), the trading companies that traded in Asia between 1594 and 1602 before they merged into the Dutch East India Company (VOC). One of the documents that can be found in this collection, is a concept treaty about the purchase and trade of pepper. The treaty (written in Malay in Arabic script) was between the Sabandhar (harbourmaster) of Aceh and the Dutch vice-admiral Paulus van Caerden, and was created during an expedition to the East Indies commissioned by the Brabantsche Compagnie in 1600. When the Dutch had the treaty translated to Portuguese, it proved to be false, containing different terms than the ones they (thought they) had just agreed on with the Acehnese. The Dutch therefore refused to sign the contract after which the Sabandhar tore up the treaty.  

Go search for more “spicy” stories yourself, and use the filter in the search results page on our website to see which other archives are now available online.   

New presentation 

With a new display of the inventories and an improved viewer, the digitized archives can be consulted faster and easier. Even though this new presentation is not yet completely finished, we make it available in the form of a so-called ‘beta environment’. On your account page you can check the button 'Use new presentation archives and scans' to search our collection via the beta environment. On the webpage Information new presentation of the collection and more scans  you can read more about the possibilities of the new presentation and the things we are still working on. We are very interested to hear about your experiences via the feedback button.