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Watermarks (1600-1650) Found in the Zeeland Archives


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Detail of a page from the journal of the Geertruyda and Christina ship to Guinea and Surinam (1783-1785). On Saturday August 28th, 1784, male slave no. 3 died. Zeeland Archive, Archive, no. 429.

Prof. Dr. Henk den Heijer, professor of Maritime History at Leiden University, also thinks the answer is to be found in Zeeland. Den Heijer is familiar with the archives of the . For many years he has been visiting the Zeeland Archives with his students. The archives were even the topic of his speech on the occasion of his inauguration and installation as a professor of Maritime History in April 2011. He suspects that the interests of the administrators and shareholders in the economy of Zeeland and employment were decisive. According to him, the profit (which he calculated to be a slim 3 percent) could not be a reason for the to undertake the slave trade.

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Painting of ships by the Middelburg artist Engel Hoogerheyde (1740-1807). Oil on canvas, 111×245,5 cm. Zeeland Archives, City hall collection Middelburg, no. 65.

The Zeeland Archives strives to bring the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie to the attention of the widest possible audience. On behalf of the Netherlands, Surinam and Curacao, the Zeeland Archives put forward the archive as a candidate for the International Register in 2010.
During a two days lasting international symposium on November the 3rd and 4th 2011 in Amsterdam and Middelburg, both the Zeeland Archives and the National Archives raised attention for the exceptional world heritage status of the West Indies Company () and the .