Tijdschrift voor de Geschiedenis van de Kartografie
Wild and confused. The story behind Van Borsele's map of the Dutch coast
[Caert-Thresoor 37 (2018) 1, pp. 3-10]
The map that lurks behind shelfmark CBM 101 is the most outrageous map in the collection of the
Dutch National Archives. It was made in 1753 by an illiterate inventor called Jacob van Borsele. For an unknown period of time the map remained
unnoticed in an undocumented collection, the so-called 'Collectie Bondam'. The rediscovery of the map happened during a now almost finished
stack control operation which the National Archives started in 2014.
In 1738 Jacob van Borsele successfully pursued funding by the Staten van Holland towards one of his inventions: a revolutionary new kind of dredger. Unfortunately, the inventor's impulsive and unruly character made himself completely impossible with the individuals and authorities that had to oversee the project. Therefore, after an initial test with disappointing results, the Staten van Holland decided to discontinue the project.
Jacob van Borsele, however, steadfastly believed in his inventions. In January 1753, as an old and needy man, he again tried to sell his 'genius plans' to the Staten van Holland. His poor state and desperation failed to convince the authorities. The coloured map is a crude and unorthodox depiction of the Dutch coast, from Goeree to just above Katwijk; a letter and explanatory notes are attached. His letter claims to be able to solve all the hydraulic engineering problems of the Dutch Republic. The invented machines he planned to use are also depicted. After the experience of 1738 it almost goes without saying that the authorities were no longer interested in any more of Van Borsele's plans. Neither map nor accompanying letter is even mentioned in any of the archives of the Staten van Holland. (back)
[Caert-Thresoor 37 (2018) 1, pp. 11-20]
In earlier contributions the author described various aspects of older charts, such as topography, use of colour, depiction of the seabed
and the addition of attractive coastal views. The present article deals with details or themes which one would not expect, or which are seldom seen, on standard nautical charts. The
article subdivides into:
the chart as a source for studies (like changes in a sediment, or in preparation for building infrastructure); the importance of the low-water line to determine the limits of maritime zones under the rules of UNCLOS; some examples of nautical-technical specialities (like the variety in level of Chart Datum); remarkable details (like certain names for example, which evoke curiosity, some errors, or a Captain who had palm trees and vegetables planted on Pacific Islands, 'for the sake of castaways').
A final, long 'chapter' is on descriptions or notes resulting from expeditions. Remarkable descriptions were found on charts of Socotra, and of the Antarctic and Arctic seas. The latter, especially after careful study of two in the Canadian Arctic, turn out to show many traces of an unparalleled and amazing history of countless expeditions that involved wintering in Arctic waters, of which the author was unaware. Expeditions not only to find a North West passage, but (after 1848) also induced by the search for Sir John Franklin, who vanished in the ice with two vessels and all crews.
This article does not attempt to give the full story, but focuses on these unusual details only in the charts which happen to be in the author's collection. The aim remains to show the reader that a chart may contain unexpected elements in addition to its navigation information. (back)
Paul de Win & François van der Jeught
A map of Brabant for Emperor Charles V
[Caert-Thresoor 37 (2018) 1, pp. 21-23]
Due to the finding of a payment record from February 1539, in a register of the Chamber of Accounts kept in the State Archives in Brussels, it appears that Jacob van Deventer received the assignment of the Council of Finances to deliver personally to the Emperor in Gent a map of the duchy of Brabant. This adds a previously unknown copy to the list of regional maps of Brabant, Holland, Gelderland, Friesland and Zeeland. Moreover, it appears that Van Deventer was occupying the office of imperial geographer before February 23rd, 1540. On the basis of a tax cohier of Mechelen from 1544 and additional genealogical data about his neighbour, it became clear that Jacob van Deventer lived in Mechelen near the bridge over the Heergracht in the Kerkhofstraat, nowadays the Goswin de Stassartstraat. (back)
Research into the origins of decontextualized maps in the collection of the National Archives
[Caert-Thresoor 37 (2018) 1, pp. 24-33]
The roughly 4000 maps of the Leupe and Leupe Supplement Collections (foreign maps) have lost almost all relation with the textual sources from whence they came. The maps were removed
from the received letters and papers which the Dutch United East India Company (VOC), the Society of Surinam and other colonial institutions sent to the Dutch Republic. This removal
causes much loss of the maps’ context, as well as creating a similar loss, for the textual sources, in content.
In the summer of 2017 the author interned at the National Archives of the Netherlands to partially remedy this situation. In this article, with some examples, the author summarizes the situation beforehand and the problems it caused; the methods used to retrace the connections between the maps and their textual origins; as well as some of the results of the research and the ways in which the National Archives hopes to convey this new information to researchers and the wider public. (back)
Laatst bijgewerkt op 2018-04-20