Wereldkaart waarop scheepsreizen met lijnen over de kaart zijn uitgezet

Zeeuws Archief visualizes the slave trade on an interactive map

Today, Tuesday 27 June 2023, the Zeeuws Archief launched the MCC Reizen website. The site shows the shipping journeys of the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) on an interactive map. These include more than 100 transatlantic slave voyages in which enslaved Africans were sold in the Caribbean. The site also provides direct access to digitized archive documents in which human trafficking is recorded. The new website MCC Voyages can be viewed via mccvoyages.atlanticslavetrade.org

The voyages of the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) can be followed on a map with a timeline. After clicking on a voyage, a detailed window with voyage data including trade details opens. Trade in enslaved people states how many people were bought and where they were sold. The detail screen also provides access to the online records from which this information originates.

The interactive map with opened details screen. Website MCC Voyages, Zeeuws Archief.

Trade in enslaved people

The website shows that after 1750 the company increasingly started trading in people. The MCC mostly sold the enslaved Africans in Suriname, Curaçao and Sint Eustatius. That transatlantic slave trade was intertwined into 18th-century European society is evident from the goods and products the ships carried: European barter goods went to the coast of West Africa and the Caribbean products from plantations – sugar, coffee, cocoa and tobacco – were shipped to the home port in Europe.

In addition to transatlantic slave voyages, ships of the MCC have made other types of trade voyages, for example to destinations in Europe, the Spanish possessions in the Caribbean or for fishing and whaling. The MCC organized nearly 300 ship voyages in the 18th century.

Slavery Memorial Year

The archive of the MCC is included in UNESCO’s international Memory of the World Register. With the new website, the Zeeuws Archief wants to draw attention to the archive of the MCC in the Dutch Slavery Memorial Year.

Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie

The Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) was founded in 1720 to conduct overseas trade trips. Initially, the company started traveling in Europe. For example, Zeeland wheat was sold and French wine was purchased. Many other types of ship voyages followed. After the West India Company (WIC) allowed other companies to conduct the transatlantic slave trade after 1730, the MCC made its first voyage in 1732. In addition, 318 enslaved people were bought on the coast of West Africa and 268 were sold in the Caribbean.

In the second half of the century, the company focused on the trade in enslaved Africans. In the 18th century, the MCC grew into a major Dutch slave trader.

Triangular voyages

The website MCC Reizen shows the arrangement of 114 transatlantic slave voyages. These journeys are also called triangular journeys because they consist of three routes:

  1. With trade goods to the coast of West Africa. The goods were exchanged for enslaved Africans.
  2. With enslaved people across the Atlantic to, in the case of the MCC, the Caribbean. The enslaved Africans were sold and lived a life of slavery on one of the many plantations.
  3. With the produce from the plantations, such as sugar, cocoa and coffee, to the home port. The MCC sold the products by auction in Middelburg.


The website MCC Voyages with interactive map and timeline is designed and built by DPI|Full service digital agency in The Hague. The visually design is by DATBureau |Grafisch ontwerp en advies from Amsterdam. The data, originating from archive documents from the archives of the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC), was researched and processed by employees of the Zeeuws Archief.

Zeeuws Archief & archive MCC

The Zeeuws Archief is the Regional Center for the history of Zeeland. The Zeeuws Archief manages the archive of the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) and provides access to the fully digitized MCC archive via the online archive inventory. The archive of the MCC is enscribed in Unesco’s Memory of the World-Register.

Previously, the Zeeuws Archief made a website On board The Unity, that allows visitors to follow the transatlantic slave trade from day to day on board, using authentic archive documents. The Zeeuws Archief also made the online exhibition Into the Triangle Trade on Google Arts, awarded the Jury Prize of the History Online Prize.

The exhibition Eyewitnesses to the Slave Trade can now be visited in the Zeeuws Archief in Middelburg. Admission is free.

MCC Voyages

Check out the new website MCC Reizen; the MCC's ship voyages on an interactive map, including more than 100 voyages where enslaved people were bought in West Africa and sold in the Caribbean.

Logo in de stijl van het VOC-logo, met de in elkaar grijpende letters V, C en C, en daaronder een grote letter M.

Archive of the MCC

For more information on the MCC's archive, view the Transatlantic Slave Trade File on our website