Amsterdam Slavery Heritage Guide

As part of the research project Mapping Slavery (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), the Amsterdam Slavery Heritage Guide was published in 2014.

Never before has a single guide listed so many locations in Amsterdam which were directly or indirectly connected to Dutch slavery heritage. This 138-page bilingual guide gives an account of the Amsterdam slavery heritage based on extensive research in more than a hundred locations. Dienke Hondius was one of the authors closely involved in its creation.

The locations testify to Dutch involvement in the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the West-Indische Compagnie (WIC) and slave trade and slavery in South East Asia and South Africa at the hands of Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC). A number of Amsterdam families and businesses had links with both the VOC and WIC.

Discover slavery heritage by yourself
The guide is meant for anyone with an interest in history, slavery heritage and stories about the city, enabling one to travel back and forth in time between the seventeenth century and the present. One discovers how some locations were directly – and others more obliquely – connected to slavery trade and the heritage of slavery. As there is no set route to follow, one can start walking (or cycling) at any of the locations on the map. On each page locations are numbered for reference on the accompanying map.

Preview of 2nd edition

Order your copy of the second, revised edition at LM Publishers


The Slavery Heritage Guide opens a new Amsterdam before our eyes. It is an Amsterdam both fascinating and troubling, as the Guide shows us the locations from which the Dutch slave trade and plantation economy in Batavia, Suriname, and beyond were engineered; the products and profits they yielded; and the traces of the Black presence in Amsterdam itself. As a historian, I am grateful to the Slavery Guide for showing us how the city itself yields sources as precious as those in libraries and archives. Bravo to the authors for this new pathway to the past!

Natalie Zemon Davis historian, Detroit

Sinds ik de Gids Slavernijverleden Amsterdam gelezen heb, kijk ik met heel andere ogen naar deze stad. Vreemd genoeg wordt de stad niet alleen meer opwindend, maar ook veeleisender om te verkennen. “Nieuw toerisme” zou niet alleen voyeuristisch moeten zijn. Het zou een reis moeten zijn om het begrip van onze menselijkheid te verdiepen zonder ontkenning van de duistere zijden hiervan zoals slavernij. Dit boek is een prachtige wegwijzer.

Ayu Utami author, Jakarta