D. (Diederick) Wildeman

Diederick Wildeman is curator of seamanship and library collections at the Scheepvaartmuseum (National Maritime Museum of the Netherlands) in Amsterdam. After studying at the naval academy and the university of applied sciences for Library and Documentary Information, he studied history in both Leiden and Amsterdam. At the moment, he is preparing a dissertation on the history of 17th-century exploration.

PhD research: Dutch voyages of exploration in the seventeenth century

Early modern voyages of exploration are guided by a framework of ideas and concept about lands and peoples the travelers hoped to find. By investigation a number of seventeenth century Dutch voyages this research aims at clarifying the geographical and ethnographical knowledge available, together with mentalities and means (ships, men, navigational equipment, weaponry) at their disposal. The work will focus on how these factors effected the decisions made during the voyages and how the results were received by their superiors. It will also investigated the way the information was disseminated and incorporated in the European knowledge base. To give the research coherence it will concentrated on the East Asian – Pacific area in the period of the Gouvernor-General of the Dutch India Company, Anthonie van Diemen (1636-1645). The voyage of the time are: Abel Tasman and Mathijs Quast in 1639 to find Gold and Silver Island in the Pacific in 1639, Maarten Gerritz. Vries to look for East Tartaria and Cathay (North of Japan, Sachalin) in 1643 and Abel Tasman to find the Great South Land in 1643-1644 (Tasmania - New Zealand, Tonga). The voyage by Hendrick Brouwer to Chili in 1643-1644 was executed in the same period and will play an important additional role.

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Karel Davids

E-mail: dwildeman@hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl