Mapping Slavery

The history of slavery in Gelderland

Evidence of slavery can also be found in the province of Gelderland. Since 2020, organisations there have been researching people, places, events, houses and castles which have a connection with the history of slavery.

From the archives of a number of Gelderland families, it appears that they were owners of plantations in Suriname and Guyana. It is known that they had servants in the Netherlands who previously lived under slavery in Suriname. Sometimes these servants travelled with their masters back to the Netherlands. Descendants of the enslaved can still be found in Gelderland.

Traces of slavery in Dutch architecture

Slavery brought great riches to a number of people in the Netherlands. With this money, they were able to have luxurious houses built or to purchase such houses. Sometimes these homes were decorated with facing bricks which referred to colonial possessions or a building received a name which was involved with colonial trade. Many of these buildings are still standing and are the tangible remnants of the Netherlands’ colonial and slavery past. The project entitled Mapping Slavery ( conducted research on these locations and brought them into focus. Together with the museum, they made a selection which shows that traces of the history of slavery are still visible throughout the Netherlands.

Mapping Slavery