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Artem Quaevis Terra Alit: Books in the Cape Colony during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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Chapter Summary

The colony of the Cape of Good Hope was founded in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) when it was at its height. At first this colony was to serve as a simple refreshing post, but it quickly became a colonial settlement after a decision taken in 1657 to allocate land to free settlers, with a view to increasing agricultural production. In En het machtige Eyland Ceylon which was taken from the Portuguese by the Dutch in 1658, a printing press was established in 1737, and Tamil as well as Singhalese print types were also used to print dictionaries and Bibles in local languages for the purpose of missionaries. Beyond its quantitative importance, von Dessin's collection also marked a turning point as regards accessibility of books in the colony. Books were indeed the subject of lucrative trading between members of the Company.

Keywords: Bibles; Cape of Good Hope; Dutch East India Company; En het machtige Eyland Ceylon; Joachim von Dessin



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