Inspired by the current focus of the historical discipline on global issues and the growing interest in the history of information exchange, Charles Jeurgens discusses an alternative way of looking at colonial archives and wonders whether this focus also provides new perspectives for our view of colonial archives. After a more theoretical part in which the relation between communication, technology, globalisation and archives is examined, the activities of the early colonial state as regards to information are scrutinized. The Dutch colonial state was created in 1816 and needed more and different data than the former VOC required. Colonial civil servants investigated the 'native' society, gathered information and sent this in numerous reports and letters to the administrative centre in Batavia, from where some parts - not everything - were sent on to patria. Analysing the archives created by the colonial apparatus and reconstructing the speed with which information travels, makes it possible to discover the multi-stage and multi-layered information systems and the ramifications in the networks of colonial information. Nico Vriend has made an attempt to trace down the 'pulse of the archive', introduced by Stoler in Along the Archival Grain. Vriend did so by investigating the entries made by the clerks of the decisions of the VOC authorities in Batavia in the middle of the eighteenth century. Surprisingly, he discovered that the index makers only selected a few of the decisions made; most decisions were not indexed at all. More research is necessary to trace how the indexers operated and thought about their work. Vriend also pays attention to the communication lines and networks inside Asia and between Asia and the Republic in Europe. Gerrit Knaap focuses at the period of regime change, approximately between 1770 and 1830, when as a result of revolutions and wars in Europe, colonial possessions were redistributed. After the bankruptcy of the VOC in 1798, its possessions were transferred to the Batavian Republic. The new state, which was allied to the French Republic from 1795 onwards, wanted to set up a colonial government under inauspicious circumstances. While the British navy ruled the waves, communication between The Hague and Batavia deteriorated rapidly. When General Daendels took over in 1808, the flow of paper between Java and the Netherlands had declined by over 90%. Not everybody was unhappy about that: some entrepreneurs took their chance when patria lost its grip on overseas events. When the British handed over the Indonesian possessions to the Dutch in 1816, the development of a colonial state could start in earnest. Nadia Dwiandari has analysed the organisation of the General Secretariat (Algemeene Secretarie). The organisational development of this central organ and that of its archive went hand in hand. Those who want to do fruitful research in this extensive but hardly explored archive, have to know first how the General Secretariat was organised and how it worked. Her article is the first publication of an on-going research project. Kwa Chong Guan and Ho Chi Tim contrast official government archives with archives created by people who had been involved in the political struggle that raged in Malaysia and Singapore during and after World War II and which ended up with the establishment of them as two sovereign states. As many archives with information about this period were lost, an Oral History Centre within the National Archives of Singapore was set up in 1979 with the task of creating 18 COLONIAL LEGACY IN SOUTH EAST ASIA - THE DUTCH ARCHIVES

Periodiekviewer Koninklijke Vereniging van Archivarissen

Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2012 | | pagina 20