Sunday, August 19, 2007
You might wonder why we were selected to do the research about 17th Century Dutch naval history. I think that the explanation is that we have published enough on the subject that we were noticed. We have done more research in the Nationaal Archief than anyone else. A member of our group has also done more research in the Gemeentearchief Rotterdam (the Municipal Archives for Rotterdam) and other nearby municipal archives than anyone else. We have access to the other nearby good sources of information, such as the Gemeentearchief Amsterdam. The notary archives have proved to be a rich source of information as well, although they are a difficult source to mine and are very time-consuming. Oddly enough, the details of ships, fleets, and naval officers from this period, especially the First Anglo-Dutch War (Eerste Engelse Oorlog) had been little studied. All the historians wanted to write high-level books that left off the details of ships and the fleets. There were also many details about officers' careers that had remained unstudied. The Dutch had largely lost interest in their "Golden Age".