Call for data contributions related to the Indian Ocean World, 1600-1800

Merve Tosun's picture
Call for Publications
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Maritime History / Studies, Social History / Studies


Call for research data contributions to GLOBALISE

The GLOBALISE project team, which aims to develop an online infrastructure that unlocks the key series of the Dutch East Indian Company (VOC) archives for advanced new research methods, is currently scouting for data related to polities, persons, places, weights, measures and currencies.

We are looking for datasets pertaining to the sphere of VOC activity, namely the Indian Ocean World, in the period between 1600 and 1800. However, these datasets need not necessarily be based on VOC archives and can also draw on other early modern sources.

We prefer datasets that are in csv format, but are open to talk over the possibilities to incorporate data in alternative formats.


We currently particularly welcome datasets containing historical data about

  • polities: periodization, rulers, dynasties, capitals, relations between polities
  • places: name variations, geolocations
  • weights, measures and currencies: unit variations, conversions
  • persons: names, dates of birth/death, places of birth/death, ethnic, religious or social identifications, familial relations


As the list of themes that we work on will grow in the coming years, we also invite datasets that do not fall within the remit of these subjects. So, if you have a dataset that fulfils our chronological requirement and is about any region in the Indian Ocean World, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or are unsure about whether your data fit the description.

We treat all data contributions with utmost care - for more information on the process, visit:



GLOBALISE (2022-2026) is a large infrastructure project that aims to make the Dutch East India Company (VOC) archives more accessible and better (re)searchable. The key series of the VOC archives, the so-called 'Overgekomen Brieven en Papieren' (OBP), consists of more than 5 million handwritten pages that provide detailed and structured overviews of historical events and social, political, and economic developments occuring in the vast region where the VOC was active. The documents and reports provide information on a wide range of subjects. Trade features most prominently. Other topics covered by the VOC reports are the vicious wars waged by the company in name of the Dutch Republic and the as yet under-researched topic of slavery in Asia.

We apply an innovative combination of semantic and historical contextualisation methods on the automatically generated transcriptions of the handwritten original documents and reports in the OBP. Our teams recognize and identify entities (such as places, persons and commodities) and events in the text, and link these to a comprehensive collection of historical reference data related to VOC - and more broadly, early modern Indian Ocean - history. The reference data consists of historical contextual information compiled from a broad variety of European and Asian sources - curated from published databases and source collections, and data contributions by researchers.

For more information about the project, news, and upcoming events, see the project website:


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