than 90%. This picture does not change if account is taken of the papers found in the private collections formed by former high-ranking colonial officials in the Netherlands. This diminishing volume of reporting must have been a nuisance to those who were involved in the process. At least, this is what might have been expected. On the other hand, some of those involved, in particular on the colonial end of the chain of information, might have seen this as a blessing in disguise. They were freed of the big-brother-like prying and intervention by the home country. In short, it gave 'entrepreneurially minded' administrators trying to enrich themselves an extra opportunity. In this respect, the British blockade put the colonies at a greater distance from the Netherlands, thereby maximizing the ever-present drive for autonomous rule overseas. The war caused an 'emergency situation' and in the home country those in charge were probably not very bothered about this, as they had other things on their mind, such as finding and equipping ships as well as naval and military men for the colonies. The difficulty in communicating with the home country meant that changes in policy decided there were not implemented overseas. Consequently, after 1795 the old VOC order overseas was simply continued. For many years the regime changes in the Netherlands did not effect the colonies. It was only with the advent of Daendels that the old establishment in Batavia and elsewhere was finally disrupted. Today, the consequent decrease in the flow of information is that a modern- day historian interested in analyzing developments in society on a provincial or sub-provincial level will not find as much of his or her liking as they might have expected on the basis of experience with the VOC period. However, in areas which for the greater part of the period remained under Dutch rule the colonial administration continued to function, although it has to be seen whether it was on the same level and in the same tempo as before. It could well be that the drying up of the provision of new personnel from the Netherlands had a detrimental effect on the staffing and quality of the administration. Further research is necessary to find out what happened on the spot. Such research can only be successful if archival collections in Asia, in particular the one of the National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta, and that in South Africa are consulted. Abbreviations HaNa National Archives The Hague MvK Colonial Office OIC East India Committee RAB Council for the Asiatic Possessions VOC United East India Company GERRIT KNAAP THE DUTCH COLONIAL ARCHIVAL LEGACY IN AN AGE OF REGIME CHANGE CI79O-Cl8l0 107

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Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2012 | | pagina 109