an archive that would fill the gap. The authors stress that colonial archives can
give quite a distorted picture of history. Researchers who want to avoid this trap
will have to pay attention to the context of archives and to look at who decided
what to put on paper, why they did so and what happened afterwards when their
superiors and successors had to decide whether to preserve the documents or to
destroy them, and finally how the archivists appraised the documents and chose
which of them to take in.
With the article of Ton Kappelhof, we enter the world of private archives. His
article deals with the archives of Protestant and Catholic missions. Missionary
work can be considered as a form of European expansion. The article gives a
general description of how these archives were created and managed, who was
allowed to consult them and the aims that the missionaries and their superiors
fostered. Control of the missionary scene and erecting a monument for posterity
of the missionaries' achievements and the home front have been primary motives
in keeping archives in good condition. These archives may be rich in content,
though their context must always be kept in mind.
Jinna Smit points to the fact that archives are a part of our cultural heritage.
Most people who think or talk about heritage have objects in mind such as
buildings, landmarks or archaeological finds, but archives are also part of
our cultural heritage and so need care and protection. She also points to the
difference between heritage and science; heritage often rests on emotions, science
does not and prefers using hard facts, trying to analyse these by using theories.
Science has a methodology; the essential parts of it are globally accepted.
Heritage studies as a discipline is still young and in search of a methodology and
CHARLES JEURGENS AND TON KAPPELHOF COLONIAL ARCHIVES