Logo en familiefoto, Historische Database Suriname & de Cariben
Logo en familiefoto, Historische Database Suriname & de Cariben

Historical Database Suriname and the Caribbean

The Historical Database Suriname & the Caribbean (HDSC) is a collaboration between hundreds of participants who help enter historical population records, together with knowledge and heritage institutions from the Caribbean and the Netherlands.


Hindostaanse contractarbeiders in het immigrantendepot, Hendrik Doijer, 1903 - 1910

Suriname death records reveal fate of Hindustani indentured labourers after slavery

An important step in making Surinamese history visible after slavery will be taken on 17 April 2024. Death certificates from 1846-1915 make visible the history of Hindustani indentured labourers, which was previously often missing from archives.

Data structure Historical Database Suriname & the Caribbean


 All data collected is published as open data online published at the various national archives involved. Bringing the slave registers of Suriname and Curaçao (2018-2020) online was the first step in an ambitious plan to publish information about all inhabitants of Suriname and Curaçao from about 1830 to 1950 in one large database. This database connects persons who occur in various archival sources, such as slave registers, emancipation registers, civil registration and censuses. This makes it easier to trace ancestors, but also opens all kinds of avenues for scholarly research into the life histories of people in a tropical colonial society. 


The following datasets have been made available online. The databases and documentation are in Dutch. English translations will be added.

Slave registers of Suriname (1830-1863)

Documentation (Dutch)

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Download the database

Slave and emancipation registers Curaçao (1839-1863)

Documentation (Dutch)

Search the database

Download the database

Civic Records Suriname (from 1828)

Documentation (Dutch)

Search the database (download will be made available)

Slavery and emancipation Aruba (1840-1863)

Documentation (Dutch)

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Emancipation Sint Eustatius (Statia) (1862-1863)

Documentation (Dutch)

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The Historical Database of Suriname and the Caribbean encompasses several research projects, all focused on some aspect of the colonial past of Suriname and the Caribbean.

Map of Curacao (1836)

Recognizing Extracted Entities for the Historical Database Suriname Curacao

A team of the Historical Database Suriname and Curacao is developing a method to integrate automated handwritten text recognition (HTR) technology and entity recognition into the workflow.

Slaves register

Legacies of Bondage

This project will involve the construction of a database of the Surinamese population that existed between 1830 and 1950. It will combine the individual records of both enslaved, bonded labourers from China, India and Indonesia and free citizens.

Map of the ethnicities in Paramaribo in 1846

The Paramaribo Ward Registers

In this project data from the Paramaribo Ward Registers (1828-1846) will be made available as a FAIR database that can be used for both scholarly research and by a wider public for family history.


The Historical Database of Suriname and the Caribbean (HDSC) is a collaboration between archives and universities in Suriname, Curaçao, Aruba and the Netherlands, and hundreds of volunteers and contributors. The HDSC's publications are made possible in part by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung, the Platform Digital Infrastructure Social Sciences and Humanities (PDI-SSH), het Cultuurfonds, Stichting Democratie en Media, NWO, CLARIAH and Radboud Institute for Culture and History (RICH).

Contact information