National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

Presentation Comprehensive Atlas WIC, II

On Friday November 30th the Comprehensive Atlas of the West India Company (WIC) part II will be presented at the Scheepvaart Museum in Amsterdam. This remarkable edition contains 472 pages of almost 800 mostly never published maps and other images. It is the first all comprising overview of maps from Dutch West India in the late 17th and 18th century.

Seven years ago Atlas Maior Publishers, the Nationaal Archief, the Royal Dutch Geographical Society and URU-Explokart (University of Utrecht) started a historical geographical project that was ambitious and unprecedented: the publication of the complete legacy of hand drawn maps,  plans and topographical images produced by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and WIC.

Main topics: Surinam, Dutch Antilles

Central in this atlas are Surinam and the Dutch Antilles; the emergence and expansion of the plantations till 1800, the development of Paramaribo until the Big Fire of 1821, the construction of the Cordon of Defense in the years after 1774, the construction of the fortresses Zeelandia, New Amsterdam, Purmerend and Leiden. With the Antilles the emphasis goes to Statia and Curacao. The two other regions that are covered in the atlas are West Africa (the Castles at the coast of Guinea, Ghana) and the three former plantation colonies at the Wild Coast west of Surinam, Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice (modern Guyana).

Historical chapters

Besides the geographical chapters, some of the central themes of the history of the Dutch Atlantic between 1674 and the start of the 19th century are being covered: the emergence and the downfall of the New WIC, the Dutch transatlantic slave trade and the slavery in the Dutch colonies.


The presentation of the atlas on Friday 30 November in the Scheepvaartmuseum is at 15.45 – 18.00, in the De Ruyterzaal in Amsterdam. Please be welcome to join this event by mailing to

How to order

The Comprehensive Atlas of the West India Company (WIC), part II can be ordered via Atlas Maior Publishers.