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Home > Main Library > History > Economic history > Economic History: Trade > Overseas trade > Trade with Europeans and the East India Companies > Dutch trade > The VOC in Burma: 1634-1680 > The VOC factories and its employees

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The VOC factories and its employees

Individual Documents

Title: The Dutch factories in Burma in the Seventeenth Century
Date of publication: 15 August 1997
Description/subject: "In April 1939, now almost 60 years ago, it was D.G.E. Hall who wrote: 'Its [the Dutch factory in Burma] history seems never to have been written, though the many references to it that lie buried in the published volumes of the Daghregister of Batavia lead one to think that the Dutch archives probably contain more than enough material for such a purpose.' Wil Radelaar examined the research possibilities in the VOC archives in Burma. Setting myself the target of finding out just how much material pertaining to those factories in Burma lie hidden within the VOC archives at the Algemeen Rijksarchief in The Hague, I commenced my search in the summer of 1994. In my naivety I judged a maximum of six months to be sufficient for this task. However, it is only now, three very long years on, that I am finally nearing the end of my quest. From the outset it became clear that my search could not remain limited to Burma itself and the Coromandel Coast under whose jurisdiction it fell, but that I would also need to plough through vast numbers of manuscripts from and about such diverse locations as Siam, Persia, Japan, and of course, Batavia itself. This test of endurance has yielded a rich harvest indeed. For, from the murky depths of these ancient writings has emerged a colourful and highly fascinating kaleidoscope of details that paints a vivid picture of how a distinct group of foreign traders functioned in seventeenth-century Burma and what was involved in their relationship with the Court of Ava, the capital city of what the Dutch always referred to as the 'Kingdom of Pegu'. Furthermore, the VOC archives also contain detailed eyewitness accounts of destructive internecine wars between Burma and both Siam and China in the seventeenth century; a period in Burma's history suffering from a dearth of information..."
Author/creator: Wil O. Dijk
Language: English
Source/publisher: IIAS Newsletter No. 13
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 September 2010