nl en

Meaning and use of the Dutch archival legacy in the Indies


Admission requirements

Reading of 19th century Dutch handwriting is required.


In 1892 J.A. van der Chijs was appointed as the first archivist of the Netherlands-Indies and the establishment of the Landsarchief in Batavia was an important institutional step forward in the process of getting access to the historical archives in the Indies. Until then the official archives of the colonial government and the former VOC in the Indies were kept in the Algemene Secretarie (General Secretariat) in Batavia and Buitenzorg (current Bogor) and only could be used after permission of the authorities. Compared to the situation in the Netherlands the accessibility and the opportunities to use historical archives in the Indies were very problematic during the whole 19th century. This however does not mean that archival research by historians in the Indies was completely absent. Writers of history like Raffles, Van Hoëvell, Hageman and Rouffaer not only made (sometimes illegally) use of Dutch archives, but sometimes even managed to get access to Javanese sources kept by the local priyayis or in the Kratons of the local rulers.

In this research seminar we aim to answer the question to what extent and how historians in the 19th century made use of the archival sources in the Indies?

Course objectives

The first aim of this research seminar is to gain insight into the role of (Dutch and indigenous) archives in the 19th century history writing in the indies. The second aim is to improve skills of using 19th century archives.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar.

Assessment method

Presentation&participation (20%) and paper (80%).



Reading list

To be announced.


via uSis.

Contact information

With the tutor: Prof.dr. K.J.P.F.M. Jeurgens