Reconstruction of VOC establishments

The reconstruction of the archives of VOC establishments contains the same descriptions of documents as you will get when you use the option Search in VOC establishments. The only difference is that the descriptions of the documents are arranged in separate series, e.g. a list of the Resolutions, a list of the correspondence with local authorities, etc.

Note: sometimes, documents are not separately described bacause they are included in a series of annexes that is described as a whole. See under Description.

A VOC establishment is a place in Asia or South Africa used by the VOC as a trading post. Each establishment created its own archive. Many of these local administrations are lost. The archives that survived are often hiatus. The description and classification of the copies of documents that were shipped to the Board of Directors of the VOC in the Netherlands, makes it possible to reconstruct all VOC archives. However, it should be noted that only part of the documents of the establishments was copied and shipped to the Netherlands.

Only the archives of the main VOC establishments (hoofdkantoren) have been reconstructed. These include the subordinate minor establishments (onderkantoren). An trading post is considerend a main establishment when the management had to give account directly to the central administration in Batavia (Governor-General and Council of the Indies).

An establishment does not refer to a specific city, but to an administrative region. So e.g. Malabar, Java's Noordoostkust and Japan are listed, and not Cochin, Surabaya or Nagasaki (Deshima). And Malabar includes, besides Cochin, among others the subordinate establishments Quilon and Cannanore.

The reconstruction includes the administration of Batavia ressort. However, Batavia ressort was not a separate establishment. For the main part these documents concern correspondence of the area surrounding Batavia with the central administration in Batavia. Therefore, these documents should be part of the inventory of Batavia. Yet, the documents have been arranged separately as the VOC itself kept them separately when the copies of the documents were shipped to the Netherlands. As the reconstructions of the inventories are automaticly generated, it was not possible to include the documents of Batavia ressort in the inventory of Batavia. Moreover, the size of the inventory of Batavia would have become too big.

See option Search in VOC establishments for additional information.

Note: you will only get the documents created by a specific establishment! Thousands of other documents concerning this establishment or region are created by other establishments and can be found by searching on geographical names !

Note: some establishments existed as a main establishment only during a limited period, and at other times were subordinate to other establishments. As a consequence, documents created by these establishments are to be found in different periods under different names. E.g. Vengurla was a separate main establishment until 1673, came under Surat until 1676 and was then transferred to Malabar.
So the reconstruction of Vengurla only applies to the period it was a main establishment.

Note: As long as this database is not complete, please also consult the 125 VOC inventories from all over the world !