Top 5 sources for images to illustrate your Dutch family tree

Children peeling potatoes while wearing traditional costumes, 1946

Here are my favorite websites for finding images to illustrate your family tree. National Archives Photo collection The National Archives in The Hague has over 14 million photos in its collection, many from press offices, taken by professional photographers. Over a million photos have been scanned and made available in the photo collection part … [Read more...]

Dutch term – Kaart


A kaart is a map or a card. In the 17th century, Amsterdam was the map making capital of the world so there are some gorgeous maps waiting for you to see where your ancestors lived. For example, check the Blaeu Atlas at the Erfgoed Leiden website or read about the the facsimile edition of the City Atlas of Frederik de Wit. … [Read more...]

Review – Atlas De Wit: City Atlas of the Low Countries


Last year, I won a wonderful facsimile atlas in a contest by the Royal Library. I love maps and am a founding member of the study group for the history of cartography in my home town. When I saw that the Royal Library was giving away a copy of this atlas for the best tip on how to get the most out of their newspaper website Delpher, I did my best … [Read more...]

Quick tip: Free images of Dutch colonial past

View of New Amsterdam

The National Archives and Royal Library of the Netherlands have just donated thousands of images of the colonial past of the Netherlands and its trade partners to the public domain. These images have been uploaded to Wikimedia and are free for everybody to use, without restrictions. Here are a few gems: View images from the Atlas of … [Read more...]

Column: Citizen archivist

Rectified sea chart of the Canal

Citizen archivists is a term coined by David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, to call a new breed of users of archives. Visitors who not only come to take information, but bring it as well. Visitors who help to create access to archives by contributing in the form of comments, transcripts or tags. The benefits to the archives are … [Read more...]

Dutch term: kadaster

map showing different plots around a church

The kadaster is the government body responsible for the registration of property (real estate). Introduced in 1832, the kadaster records the owners of all plots of land and ships. In addition, the kadaster records any rights attached to the property and any mortgages against the property. The kadaster information is used as the basis for property … [Read more...]

Land Ho! Vingboons maps

Detail of Vingboons map

Johannes Vingboons was a 17th century Dutch cartographer. He made beautiful watercolor manuscipt maps of the East and West Indies. His work can now be seen both in an exhibition in Rotterdam and online. … [Read more...]