Els M. Jacobs (1958) is maritime historian and curator-in-residence at the Rotterdam Research Centre for Modern Maritime History of Erasmus University and the Maritime Museum Rotterdam.
In addition to this, various cultural institutions engage her as researcher, consultant and board member, for example to participate in the editorial board of the New Maritime History of the Netherlands. Thanks to her positions in the Amsterdam and Rotterdam maritime museums, she became aware of the immense value of museum objects as a source for historical research. She strives to create benefits of her research for society and sharing the outcomes with the largest possible audience. As a result of her activities, including work for UNESCO, she fosters an extended national and international network of professionals.
In the Rotterdam Research Centre for Modern Maritime History she is in charge of developing research activities which connect the museum and university with other institutions and individual researchers. In this way, the Maritime Museum Rotterdam and Erasmus University will become the hub for research on modern maritime history. As curator-in-residence Els Jacobs shares her distinctive non-academic expertise and particular collection related research experience with students in courses at Erasmus University.
In 2000 she published her dissertation on the Dutch trade in Asia during the 18th century, based upon innovative research in the bookkeeping records of the Dutch East India Company. In 1997 she wrote and presented a TV series on Dutch Television on the Dutch East India Company in eight episodes, which captivated half a million viewers every week.