Page 210 - Dutch Asiatic Shipping Volume 1
P. 210

 of the eighteenth century is witness to a sizeable and well organized personnel administra- tion.9
It goes without saying that by intensive research into the resolutions, letters, reports, journals and daghregisters, occupying a total length of about 1.2 kms, it would be possible to retrieve a great many details about the voyages of the VOC ships. But in the compilation of a complete survey of Dutch Asiatic shipping over these two centuries the temptation to tap new and different sources for each voyage and each ship has had to be resisted.
The uitloopboeken and ships' registers
The uitloopboeken and ships's registers in the Amsterdam chamber's archives form the basis of our Lists of departing and returning ships. Under the present archive arrangements these books are all classified under the departement van equipage of the chamber concer- ned. They are the following documents:10 KA 4389/VOC 4932: A booklet entitled 'Schepen voor de Generale Geoctroyeerde Oostindische Compagnie, nae d'Oostindien uytgevaeren' (Ships for the VOC departed for the East Indies). The inscription on the left-hand page reads: 'Notitie.Wanneerdeschepenaend'anderesijdestaende, wederommeuytOostindien in 't Vaderland gekeert, en wijders gebleven syn ('Note. When the ships having been on the other side, have returned home from the Indies, or where else they have remained').
The survey starts in 1603, with the fleet of Steven van der Haghen, and ends in 1700. On the left-hand page the name of the ship is given, with type, date and place of departure and with mention of the chamber dispatching the ship; up to 1630 the lasts are always given. On the facing page, date and place of return home are noted, or any mishap that befell the ship at sea or in Asia; often all it says is 'in Indien gebleven' (stayed in the Indies). In a few cases a ship's special assignment is indicated, as in the case of the MEDEMBLIK (0131) and HAZEWIND (0134), which had to convey the message of the imminence of the Twelve Years' Truce with Spain.
Up to the equipage of spring 1676 the booklet has been written in one hand only, making it likely that it was not written until then. After that the handwriting becomes more untidy and changes occur in the way in which the data are recorded. Of the ships sailing after 1673 details are no longer given about return or mishap. From 1676 the numbers of crew on departure are given, albeit approximately, from autumn 1685 the length of the ship, from 1686 once again the lasts and from the autumn equipage of 1693 the year of construc- tion. It is plain from the order of the data how the entries were compiled. The ships' names were always copied from the resolutions of the Heren Zeventien concerning the equipage, together with other matters mentioned therein, like type, lasts, length etc. To this were added each time - as apparent from the handwriting after 1676 - date and place of departure, and facts about the return voyage.
KA 4390/VOC 4933: This book covers the years 1700-1793 and can be regarded as the continuation of the above mentioned uitloopboek, which it resembles in size and lay-out. In this again the name of the ship to be equipped is given, with in addition the chamber equipping it, year and place of construction, length, lasts and place and time of departure from the Republic, but this only up to 1714. From the equipage of 1715 onwards, names of masters are given.
9 For the sources on the pay administration see F. Lequin,9A new approach' and id., Hetpersoneel, 9-20.
10 For the sources enumerated here the old inventory number is given every time, preceded by K A (an abbreviation for Koloniaal Archief), and the new inventory number, preceded by the abbre- viation VOC.

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