The links below represent a growing repository of databases and documents which I use for my own research. Please let me know if you find them useful or if you have additions…

Search here in the enormous collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

For information about historical Dutch ship’s click here.

If you look for archival holdings in the UK, try this Discovery search engine.

Joint collection database of Dutch ethnographic museums.

Nederlab: A large Dutch language corpus for digital humanites’ or cultural historical research.

Online version of ‘Iconographica Zoologica’. A more detailed inventory is here.

Detailed essay on Martinus Houttuyn’s multi-volume natural history published in the second half of the eighteenth century.

Good digital repository to search Dutch museum collections.

For a new repository of digitized Dutch East India Company (VOC) archives in Jakarta, click here.

Useful chronology of the foundation and early years (1813-1815) of the Dutch kingdom.

A very useful link collection to digitized Dutch periodicals before 1815. This of course also covers contributions from maritime Southeast Asia.

The David Rumsey digital map collection also entails many maps of insular Southeast Asia.

The American Museum of Natural History in New York possesses an interesting collection of ethnographic artefacts from (Southeast) Asia. A good digital finding aid is here.

For good digital repositories of military and navy history in insular Southeast Asia and Europe click here (Nederlands Militair Erfgoed), here (Ministerie van Defensie, beeldbank) and here (Maritiem Digitaal).

Use of specimen collections: Great radio feature on the use of specimen collections in the past and present. The feature is made by Paige Pfleger, associate producer of WHYY’s The Pulse. For a similar feature by Jeff Leis of the Australian museum click here.


Cyclopedia of Malesian Collectors: This database provides detailed information on plant, animal, and mineral collectors in maritime Southeast Asia. Next to biographies, it lists itineraries and collecting activities. For a printed version see: M.J. van Steenis-Kruseman, Malaysian plant collectors and collections being a cyclopedia of botanical exploration in Malaysia (Jakarta: Noordhoff-Kolff N.V., 1950).


Biographies of mollusk collectors: This comprehensive document includes detailed literary reference on European and local mollusk collect

ors and their collections in maritime Southeast Asia. The document which is compiled by Eugene V. Coan and Alan R. Kabat can be found on the website of the American Malacological Society.

Detailed digital finding aid for collections in and around Philadelphia.

Possible digital resources for teaching:

Interesting literature on the production, governance and global circulation of materials:  

Interesting digital humanities projects: