Introduction to the Zeeuws Archief
4330 AB MIDDELBURG
4331 CK Middelburg
Telephone number: 00 31 118 67 88 00
Fax number: 00 31 118 62 80 94
Bank account 1558877
The Zeeuws Archief [Zeeland Archives] is the principal archive for the province of Zeeland, the most south western province of the Netherlands, and for the municipalities of Middelburg and Veere. The Zeeuws Archief, treasure house of Zeeland’s history, holds a wealth of general information about Zeeland but in particular, information about the municipalities of Middelburg and Veere is to be found here. This information can be used to research a family tree, but it can also be used for a wide range of other historical research.
The Zeeuws Archief was established on 1 January, 2000 when the former Rijksarchief in Zeeland [State Archives in the province of Zeeland], the Gemeentearchief Middelburg [Middelburg Municipal Archives] and the Gemeentearchief Veere [Veere Municipal Archives] merged. The Zeeuws Archief is housed in a new and well equipped building in the centre of Middelburg, capital of the province of Zeeland.
The Zeeuws Archief aims to assist members of the public who wish to research the history of Zeeland, by caring for and promoting the records and collections in its possession.
The public facilities and the repositories of the Zeeuws Archief are housed in a striking new, triangular shaped building made of concrete, steel and glass, allowing full visual access to the main public areas. Beyond the entrance which is through the 17th century ‘Brouwerijpoort’ [brewery gate] you enter the reception area and the Archive Shop and have free access to the Archiefcafé. The Reading Room and the Exhibition Area are one floor down and accessible via staircase and elevator. The repositories, which are situated in three underground floors, accommodate 25 km of mobile shelving.
Adjacent to and in total contrast with the new building, is the fully renovated 18th century ‘Van de Perrehuis’, where the entire staff is housed. This important monument was designed by the famous Antwerp architect Jan Pieter van Baurscheit Jr. (1699-1768) for the wealthy Middelburg patrician couple Johan Adriaan van de Perre (1738-1790) and Jacoba van den Brande (1735-1794). It was built on the medieval foundations of a much older building, the ‘Commanderij van de Duitse Orde’, of which the remnants are still visible. All staff offices are located in this house whereas the ‘Lussanet-vleugel’, the 1958 extension to the building, houses the conservation departments.
On the outer wall left of the main entrance of the Zeeuws Archief is an engraving. The text on the wall is part of the account made of the first encounter between West Europeans and an inhabitant of Easter Island in the South Pacific, a few days after the Middelburg lawyer, theologian and researcher Jacob Roggeveen discovered the island at Easter on April 5, 1722. The engraving expresses a similar journey of exploration and discovery, experienced by those who research archives.
Range of information
The collection of the Zeeuws Archief contains documents on the history of Zeeland in general, and of all the villages and towns and the people who lived there, to the extent that it was recorded by regional, provincial or decentralised central governmental institutions and private organisations like churches, associations, companies, families and private persons.
Extra information is available on the villages and towns that form the present day municipalities of Middelburg and Veere, and on the people who lived there. Not only the actual cities of Middelburg and Veere, but both municipalities in their entirety because after many mergers, these two municipalities actually cover most of the former isle of Walcheren. The only exception is the independent municipality of Vlissingen, on the southern tip of Walcheren, which has its own Gemeentearchief Vlissingen [Vlissingen Municipal Archives].
The Zeeuws Archief holds records and collections of all governmental institutions and many private organisations which were or are based in the province of Zeeland and in the villages and towns which now form the municipalities of Middelburg and Veere.
In detail, the Zeeuws Archief holds records or collections created or acquired by:
- the regional and provincial government of Zeeland
- federal government agencies based in the province of Zeeland
- villages, towns, parishes and municipalities which now form the municipalities of Middelburg and Veere
- non-governmental, private organisations like churches, associations, companies, families and private persons which or who are of significance to the history of Zeeland or the villages and towns which now form the municipalities of Middelburg and Veere
- several other collections with documentation and images of historical and topographical importance like maps, charts, drawings, pictures and engravings of the villages, towns, islands, waterways, events and people of Zeeland