Sailing for the East

History and Catalogue of Manuscript Charts on Vellum of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), 1602-1799


Authors: Günter Schilder and Hans Kok
The Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company) was for a period of 200 years responsible for the navigation material for the journey between the Netherlands and the Far East and the inter-Asian trade. In this book with the help of recovered archive materials a never published before overview is given of chart material that was used on a VOC-ship.
All navigation charts of the VOC in the 17th and 18th century, drawn on vellum (of which many were traced in foreign collections), are described and analysed in an illustrated cartobibliography. In a supplement extracts of the 'groot-journalen' of the 'Kamer Amsterdam' are published. These give an unique view of the total expenses of the VOC on navigation. The extensive introduction gives more information on the history of the VOC, the chart makers, the routes, the navigation and the instruments. Inlcudes CD-rom with appendices.
Volume 10 of the Utrecht Studies of the History of Cartography (EXPLOKART).

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"It would be difficult to find a beter combination of authors to write a book such as this. Both Gunther Schilder and Hans Kok have worked fo years in the field of Dutch cartography, and together they have produced a masterpiece. Most readers interested in the history of cartography will be familiar with the beartiful printed maps and atlases of the Dutch masters. From works of Mercator and Ortelius to Hondius and Van der Aa, the works of these authors represent the epitome of the publishing business in their day. [...] Three year ago, we were treated by the publication of Ramon Rujades' scholarly work on the earliest portolan charts, mostly Italian and Majorcan. This present book by Professor Schilder and Mr. Kok is also an equally authoritative work, produced to a high level of scholarship. It will be THE definitive work on this subject for years and decades to come." - Richard Pflederer, in: The Portolan (Spring 2011)