The Rooswijk project - the United East-Indian Company (VOC) ship
In the summers of 2017 and 2018 an enormous salvage operation of the VOC ship De Rooswijk took place near the English coast. This wrecked ship had been at the bottom of the sea for over 250 years. Divers, archaeologists and other specialists carried out thorough research on the remains. The salvage has been in the news regularly recently, for instance with a documentary on the expedition being broadcast on television.
The operation was done in cooperation with the National Service of Cultural Heritage (RCE) and assigned by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The objects can teach us a lot about the long voyages and many other matters concerning the VOC history.
Impression of the finds
Goods brought to surface were transported to a hangar near Ramsgate. This is when the sorting, cleaning and conserving of the finds starts.
Collection Rooswijk unlocked digitally
The wrecked ship had been the focus of a diving operation before. Some ten years ago the muZEEum became the custodian of many of the objects salvaged. Part of them can be seen in the Water and Adventure section. The muZEEum was assigned the task of listing and registering its Rooswijk- collection, the goal being to gather and record the precise information of some thousand objects. A lot is involved. Specialized museum staff as well as volunteers are collecting all data available. Objects need to be measured, checked, named and numbered as well as photographed. Everything is then recorded in a digital registration system. In due time these photos will allow the objects to be unlocked via internet, making the information available to the public. The muZEEum cannot possibly exhibit all items in its buildings after all.