other leading men and women, kept an eye on 'their' archives and did their best to keep out lower ranked members and certainly outsiders. The directors of the Nederlandsch Zendelinggenootschap only received a printed extract from the minutes and were prohibited to publish parts of it. If the organisation needed a book written on its history because a jubilee year was approaching, members or other insiders were asked to write it.61 There was no need of a scholarly historiography because the leading men and women preferred a home made historiography and participation of outsiders was not considered in the interest of the organisation. This attitude changed when the tide reversed after World War II. The missionary movement gradually gave place to development aid and the number of missionaries declined. Indigenous clergy were ready to take over. This made room for a more distant historiography which developed after 1980 62Sources were edited and the Institute of Netherlands History began a research guide. Archives were transferred to public depositories and made accessible. Another function of the archives was always to keep the supporters up to date. It was instrumental in getting donations and inspiring youngsters to serve in the mission. The information, however, was selective. Strong or deviant opinions, problems, serious discussions in the board and bad results were kept from the public.. We may assume that not everything researchers would like to know was archived, in fact the archivists appraised the documents regularly. Unfortunately, however, we do not know enough about the archiving and appraisal procedures. More research on this topic is necessary but it is time consuming. Another subject that awaits future research is the analysis of the language of the missions. Detailed analysis of texts in these archives, supported by new ICT-technologies, might enable us to make an X-ray of these papers and get a better understanding of the public relations policy of missionary organisations. This also applies to visual material, missionary organisations archives are teeming with pictures, maps and movies. The language of the image is a neglected subject that asks for more and deeper research supported by new technologies.63 Conclusions Most missionary archives have been cared for and kept for a long time. The main motive was their instrumental value to the owner. Archives enabled missionaries to study their own history, build up an identity and to define their position. Professional historiography is taking over this field, however, and the archives are becoming more accessible. This opens new doors to future research based on themes such as gender and mission, the economics of the mission, the position of mission within the history of European expansion and the consequences of internal strife in the Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk for the missionary work. In the last decades Dutch society has become secular. Christianity is now a religious minority in the Netherlands and more and more people do not understand its TON KAPPELHOF ARCHIVES OF DUTCH DHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ORGANISATIONS AND MISSIONARIES INFORMATION POWER - FROM HAGIOGRAPHY TO HISTORIOGRAPHY 60 NA, 'Statistieke aanteekeningen', entry number, inv. no's 87-887. 61 Monteiro, Gods Predikers, 25. 62 Monteiro, Gods Predikers, 23-26. 63 Tops, Foto's met gezag. 165

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Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2012 | | pagina 167