VOC Sea Voyagers is a project of the Nationaal Archief, the archival services of the six VOC cities (Delft, Rotterdam, Zeeland, Hoorn, Enkhuizen and Amsterdam), Leiden University, Ghent University, the Institute of Netherlands History (ING) and Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS).
The aim of the project is to provide access to the personnel files (ships’ pay ledgers) of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) by creating an extensive database with personal details (name, origin and position) and employment details (date of commencement and termination of employment, reason for and location of termination of employment, such as repatriation, death, missing), linked to the VOC sea voyages.
The ships’ pay ledgers from the 18th century are nearly complete, with over 95% preserved, approx. 2800 volumes. Only 197 volumes have been preserved from the 17th century. This concerns a total of approx. 700,000 personnel records. As well as being an index to the ships’ pay ledgers, the database can be used independently for research.
Data entry commenced in 2000 and was completed in 2009. The database can be accessed at vocseavoyagers.nationaalarchief.nl. The database is also available in Dutch and German.
The project is funded by the Nationaal Archief, Euregio Scheldemond, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), maritime funds and the VOC cities.