Samenwerkende Maritieme Fondsen (SMF), a body of six historical maritime foundations, have kindly awarded us a grant to do new research into the life and careers of Dutch sailors. We will use this money to broaden our focus to the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, allowing us to tell new stories about sailors (on this blog, but also in a book on sailors of the Dutch merchant marine), make some more cool maps, and draw lines through history. Watch this blog and Jelle’s Twitter feed for updates on the project (2019-2023).
Seafarers are a fascinating class of workers. They form a dynamic labour force, characterised over the past 400 years by varying levels of internationalisation. On this website we showcase the results of our research into the functioning of Dutch maritime labour markets and the characteristics of the seagoing workforce, and the changes these underwent over time. We’re interested in questions such as: how did skill levels of seamen develop over the centuries? How international was the maritime sector? And what changes in the level of internationalization do we witness over time? What differences can we observe between careers of native and migrant sailors? Time span and sources Currently, most of…