Photographer: onbekend

dr. D.H. (Djoeke) van Netten

Nieuwe geschiedenis
  • Faculty of Humanities
    Capaciteitsgroep Geschiedenis
  • Visiting address
    Oost-Indisch Huis
    Kloveniersburgwal 48  Room number: C 0.04
  • Postal address:
    Kloveniersburgwal  48
    1012 CX  Amsterdam
    T: 0205254464
    T: 0205254489


  • Assistant Professor (UD) Early Modern History


Research Interests

  • Secrecy and Openness
  • Production and Dissemination of Knowledge
  • Early Modern Publishers and Book Production
  • Dutch Golden Age
  • Dutch Overseas Companies (VOC and WIC)
  • Maritime History
  • Early Modern Travel and Travel Journals
  • History of Cartography
  • Copernicanism
  • History of the Body


Summary of current NWO Veni Research Project

*Hide and leak. Secrecy and Openness in Overseas Companies in the Dutch Golden Age*

Secrecy creates power, fear and desire. The culture of secrecy makes us conscious of how people interacted. The information they deliberately kept secret or leaked, determined their possibilities and shaped our image of the past.
This Veni-project will investigate secrecy and openness in Dutch overseas companies (VOC and WIC) in the seventeenth century. It analyses the culture of secrecy in these companies by examining practices of concealment and revealment. Which information about Dutch overseas exploration and expansion was deliberately kept secret and how and why was secret information leaked?
The production of secrecy was performed by individual actors. These people with different – even conflicting – roles and interests will be at the centre of attention. What did different groups of people (directors in the Dutch Republic, governors in the Indies, company-officials, sailors and soldiers, scientists and suppressed people) mean and do when they mentioned secrecy? This project will examine their use of media and the discourse they applied by combining internal archival material and external sources, like letters, travel journals and scientific works.
VOC and WIC are particularly interesting because they embody not earlier emphasized conflicts between trade and science. Whereas trade benefits by a certain accepted degree of secrecy, science is often linked with sharing knowledge and openness. By analysing practices of secrecy, this project will challenge existing ideas about the relationships between commerce and science. The result will yield more insight into Early Modern discoveries, expansion and communication.
Secrecy and leaking are very topical issues that will continue to engage society at large. Therefore, besides a monograph and scholarly articles, the results of this project will be broadly disseminated, inter alia by way of various projects in collaboration with the Maritime Museum, Amsterdam.



Education, previous positions, fellowships

  • NWO (Dutch Organization of Scientific Research) Veni Research Fellow (2015- )
  • Visiting Lecturer (Erasmus+ programme), University of Reading (October 2014)
  • PhD ICOG/History, University of Groningen (2012)
  • Dr Ernst Crone Research Fellow, National Maritime Museum Amsterdam (2010-2011)
  • Lecturer History, University of Amsterdam (2009-2012)
  • Lecturer History / International Relations, University of Groningen (2008-2009)
  • MA (doctoraal) History, University of Groningen (cum laude) (2004)
  • Research Fellow Royal Dutch Institute in Rome (2003)

Courses 2015/2016

* MA Gouden Eeuw in wording: Woord en beeld in de Nederlandse Republiek (The creation of the Golden Age)

* MA Raadsel van de Gouden Eeuw: Nieuws uit Amsterdam (News in the Golden Age)

* BA Literatuurtentamen (Historiography reading on [to be announced])


For an overview of my teaching, see the UvA Course Catalogue

I am available for (BA and MA) thesis supervision and tutorials regarding the Early Modern history of science/knowledge, secrecy, Dutch Golden Age, travel, maritime history, book history. Do not hesitate to email me and discuss plans and ideas.



  • van Netten, D. H., & Krom, T. (2016). Geheymenissen en secreten: Denkbeelden over geheimhouding in Nederlandse pamfletten uit 1672. Jaarboek voor Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis, 23, 192-207.


  • van Netten, D. H. (2015). Propaganda, public and pamphlets in the Dutch Golden Age. What else is new? Jaarboek voor Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis, 22, 209-221.


  • van Netten, D. (2012). Astronomia instaurata? The third edition of Copernicus's De Revolutionibus (Amsterdam, 1617). Journal for the History of Astronomy, 43(1), 75-91. DOI: 10.1177/002182861204300105  [details] 


  • van Netten, D., & de Bruycker, A. (2008). 'Zodat mijn verbanning tegelijk jouw straf is.' Bloei, verval en migratie van wetenschap in de Republiek en de Spaanse Nederlanden. Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 123(1), 3-30. DOI: 10.18352/bmgn-lchr.6732 


  • van Netten, D. (2014). Koopman in kennis: de uitgever Willem Jansz Blaeu in de geleerde wereld (1571-1638). (Bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van de Nederlandse boekhandel). Zutphen: Walburg Pers. [details] 


  • Dijkstra, A., Jensma, G., & van Netten, D. (2012). Adriaan Metius: wiskunde als familiebedrijf. In A. Dijkstra, G. Jensma, D. van Netten, & P. van Tuinen (Eds.), Wiskunde als familiebedrijf: Menelaus Winsemius' lijkrede op Adriaan Metius (1571-1635): bezorgd, vertaald en ingeleid (pp. 8-53). (E.H. Waterbolk-reeks; No. [4]). Groningen: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. [details] 



  • van Netten, D. (2010). Nicolaus Mulerius (1564-1630): een Groninger geleerde in de discussies van zijn tijd. (Biografieën van Groningse hoogleraren). Groningen: Barkhuis. [details] 


  • van Netten, D. (2016). [Review of: T. Brook (2013) Mr. Selden’s map of China: the spice trade, a lost chart and the South China Sea]. Isis, 107(2), 392-393. DOI: 10.1086/687063  [details] 
  • van Netten, D. (2016). [Review of: J. van Goor (2015) Jan Pieterszoon Coen [1587-1629]: koopman-koning in Azië]. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 131(2), [review 26]. DOI: 10.18352/bmgn-lchr.10209  [details] 


  • van Netten, D. H. (2015). Dániel Margócsy. Commercial Visions. Science, Trade, and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age. Isis, 106(4), 922-924.


  • van Netten, D. (2012). Bibliografie van Adriaan Metius. In A. Dijkstra, G. Jensma, D. van Netten, & P. van Tuinen (Eds.), Wiskunde als familiebedrijf: Menelaus Winsemius' lijkrede op Adriaan Metius (1571-1635): bezorgd, vertaald en ingeleid (pp. 204-208). (E.H. Waterbolk-reeks; No. [4]). Groningen: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. [details] 

Talk / presentation

  • van Netten, Djoeke (speaker) (8-9-2016): A certain navigation to China and Cathay, Entangled Cultural Histories. Encounters between China 1600-1900, Shanghai, China.
  • van Netten, Djoeke (speaker) (7-7-2016): Knowledge Control in the Dutch East India Company, Scientiae 2016, Oxford, Oxford.
  • van Netten, Djoeke (speaker) (8-4-2016): Collecting and guarding information just before and after the establishment of the Dutch East India Company (1602), Treasuries of Knowledge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


  • van Netten, D. H. (2012). Koopman in kennis. De uitgever Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571-1638) in de geleerde wereld van zijn tijd
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