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Dr D.H. (Djoeke) van Netten

Early Modern History
Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Geschiedenis
Photographer: Greetje van der Werf

Visiting address
  • Kloveniersburgwal 48
  • Room number: C 0.04
Postal address
  • Postbus 1610
    1000 BP Amsterdam
  • Profile


    • 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)
  • Teaching

    Courses 2018/2019

    * MA Gouden Eeuw. Interdisciplinaire Introductie (Dutch Golden Age. Interdisciplinairy Introduction)

    * MA Media en macht in de Gouden Eeuw (Media and power in the Dutch Golden Age)

    * BA Inleiding in de Geschiedenis I en II (Introductory course first year history students)

    * BA Wereldgeschiedenis (World History)


    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.


  • Publications


    • van Netten, D. (2022). Mapping travel knowledge: The use of maps on the first Dutch voyages to Asia. In A. L. Brock, G. van Meersbergen, & E. Smith (Eds.), Trading Companies and Travel Knowledge in the Early Modern World (pp. 23-42). (Hakluyt Society Studies in the History of Travel). Routledge. [details]




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


    • van Netten, D. (2015). Propaganda, public and pamphlets in the Dutch Golden Age - What else is new? Jaarboek voor Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis, 22, 208-221, 232-233. [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.


    • van Netten, D. H. (2016). 'Nicolaus Mulerius’, ‘Petrejus Tiara’ and ‘Menelaus Winsemius'. In Nieuwe Encyclopedie van Fryslân Gorredijk: Uitgeverij Bornmeer.


    • 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. (2011). Een boek als carrièrevehikel: de zeemansgidsen van Blaeu. Zeventiende Eeuw, 27(2), 214-231. [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]


    • Vannieuwenhuyze, B., van der Vaart, L., van Netten, D., Rygl, S., Casteels, I., & Korver, I. (2019). Tussen Zuidzee en Noordzee: Twee hypothesen over een wandkaart van Nicholas de Fer uit 1713. De Boekenwereld, 35(2), 8-15. [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]


    • van Netten, D. (2017). ASH Valorisation Award.

    Talk / presentation

    • van Netten, D. (invited speaker) (15-6-2021). Issues of (Dutch) pilot guides 1584-ca.1700, RUTTER-project, Lisbon.
    • van Netten, D. (keynote speaker) (29-4-2021). The landscape and the ship. Mapping a seventeenth-century naval battle, Maps and society series, London.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (20-4-2021). Speaking about maps. Text and images in atlases and pilot guides, RSA Virtual 2021.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (15-1-2021). Sea-mirrors. How early english pilot guides show what maps were and how they were used, Maps and mapping, Paris.
    • van Netten, D. (invited speaker) (6-11-2020). The order between land and sea and the use of colours, Maps and colours, Hamburg.
    • van Netten, D. (invited speaker) (4-3-2020). Magic Maps. Blaeu's disenchanting cartography and some reenchantment, Farewell Conference Klaas van Berkel, Groningen.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (14-12-2019). Land and/or sea in text and image, Lines on a map, London.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (6-9-2019). BorderLInes. Straddling land and sea in early modern atlases, Rethinking power in maritime encounters, Leiden.
    • van Netten, D. (keynote speaker) (14-7-2019). Reading maps in golden age Amsterdam and beyond, The International Conference on the History of Cartography, Amsterdam.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (4-6-2019). Knowledge communication and secrecy on Dutch East India ships, Scientiae 2019, Belfast, Belfast.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (10-4-2019). "Secrets" and secrecy in the Dutch East India Company, Secrecy and openness in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, New York.
    • van Netten, D. (invited speaker) (21-3-2019). Secrecy and privacy in the Dutch context. With a case study of ships, PRIVACY-project , Copenhagen.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (8-3-2019). Geheimen van de VOC, Geschiedenis Magazine LIVE-dag, Utrecht.
    • van Netten, D. (invited speaker) (7-12-2018). How to present a sea-battle. Newsprints and nachleben of the Battle at Gibraltar (1607), The battlefield after the battle, Lille.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (16-11-2018). Old maps on old maps. Early modern history of cartography, Making of the Humanities VII, Amsterdam.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (27-9-2018). To publish or not to publish, Isaac Beeckman in Context: Science, the Arts, and Culture in the Early Dutch Republic, Middelburg.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (19-7-2018). Maps and Navigation. On the Use of Maps during the Early Dutch Voyages to the East, ICHG 2018 Warsaw, warsaw.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (23-6-2018). The Company resorts to Print. The secret and the public in a pamphlet war regarding the Dutch East India Company (1622-1625), 11th St Andrews Book Conference 'Print and Power, St Andrews.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (1-6-2018). Secrets in the Dutch Golden Age and Where to Find Them, Low Countries History Seminar, London, Institute of Historical Research.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (1-3-2018). Lost on the map, Forgetting Knowledge, Berlin.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (24-11-2017). Secret instructions, secret resolutions, secret committees, and other not so secret secrecy in the VOC-archive, Symposium Rethinking the VOC.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (12-9-2017). Maps on ships and ships on maps, Hakluyt Society Symposium.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (26-8-2017). Schrijven over geheimen. De paradox van weten en niet weten, Congres Werkgroep Zeventiende Eeuw 2017: Geheime Praktijken.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (24-6-2017). Maps in the museum. A 21st century analysis of 20th century acquisition of 17th century geographical knowledge, Zevende Tweejaarlijke Gewina-conferentie (Woudschoten VII), Zeist.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (6-2017). Blaeu's wereld in kaart, Vrije Academie.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (21-4-2017). Treasures, lights and mirrors. How to use an early modern pilot guide?, Scientiae 2017, Padua.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (31-3-2017). Counterfeiting the World. Truth and secrecy surrounding the first Dutch travels to the East, Renaissance Society of America, Chicago.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (8-9-2016). A certain navigation to China and Cathay, Entangled Cultural Histories. Encounters between China 1600-1900, Shanghai.
    • van Netten, D. (speaker) (7-7-2016). Knowledge Control in the Dutch East India Company, Scientiae 2016, Oxford, Oxford.
    • van Netten, D. (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.




    • van Netten, D. H. (2012). Koopman in kennis. De uitgever Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571-1638) in de geleerde wereld van zijn tijd.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities