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Overview

The data are arranged into one workbook containing eight spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel 2007 format (‘.xlsx’ files). The eight spreadsheets contain the data of the 8 different trading regions specified by the VOC directors for the trade to Europe. The different trading regions often contained more than one trading settlement. For example, in the order for Batavia we can find all the commodities the VOC ordered from the Indonesian Archipelago, such as spices from the Spice Islands and pepper from Java, Sumatra and Borneo.
The workbook is locked (password protected) for editing by default. If the whole sheet is copied, it will remain locked; however, any portion of a sheet can be copied to a new sheet and be edited freely.

List of Spreadsheets

Batavia

Bengal

Coromandel Coast

Ceylon

Malabar

Surat

Persia

China

All data

For each of the spreadsheets, the type, quantity (including the unit of measurement in the last column) and quality (where specified) of the goods ordered from the Dutch Republic each year are listed. The order lists have been saved in two places in the archives, the ones depicted here are from the ‘Resolutions’ of the Gentlemen Seventeen. The order lists were also kept in a separate place in the archives, in what was known as the copies of the minutes of the Resolutions. The High Government in Batavia had to provide an answer to the Directors in the Dutch Republic, specifying for what reasons they had not been able to fulfil the ‘Eisch’. These answers were sent back to the Republic in the ‘Generale Missiven’. Abstracts of these answers can be found in the ‘Generale Missiven’ (RGP) series edited by Coolhaas and his successors.
The series of the ‘Eischen’ represented here is quite complete, only for the year 1747 no list has been found. The rows at the head of each spreadsheet give the details of each Company order used to compile the database:

Name of Row Description
Year of order Gives the year for which the commodities were ordered, so in general two years later than the actual date.
VOC archive no Gives the catalogue reference from the VOC archives in the Nationaal Archief in The Hague (e.g. NA/VOC/172).

Any figures in italics in the spreadsheets indicate where the division between different specifications (place of origin, lengths, colours etc.) in the lists was not given precisely or where an approximate order between two numbers is given. Where an unspecified amount of a particular good was ordered, this is indicated as ‘unspecified’ or in the wording of the sources itself.