basis, based on information gathered by the local regents or bupati. One example were the reports signed by the bupati of Galor in which he sent figures about the number of children that had fallen ill and died of 'tjatjar batuk' (a kind of smallpox).66 In the information collected by the assistent-residenten and district heads of the police, we find reports and letters from village heads (demang), written in the local language, in which they inform the Dutch authorities on all kinds of more or less important events that happened in the villages.67These reports and letters of course never reached the governor-general in that form, let alone the Minister of Colonies in The Hague, but they were the needed and expected information to provide the vital fuel to the backbone of the network between Batavia and The Hague. It was however not only the information itself, but also the transport of the information that immediately received attention after the takeover in 1816. The resident of Cheribon for instance improved the carriage of dispatches within his district and to the nodes of Semarang and Batavia. Instead of three times a week, he organised daily transportation of letters by the 127 horses and three mail carriages he had available within his residentschap.68 The information sent from Batavia to The Hague depended fully on the quality of the chain that connected Batavia to the inner areas in the archipelago. The colonial state continuously tried not only to control and extend the information structures, but also the quality and amount of information that was exchanged. Tentative conclusions The main question asked at the beginning of this chapter was whether the theories on globalisation and networks can also be useful for our understanding of the colonial archives. I gave special attention to the role of information and information exchange in the period of the early colonial state. I want to refer to Bayly, when he stated that the beginnings of the modern international system were driven not so much by technological change as by prior political and cultural change. Compared to the concerns of the former VOC, the role, focus and interests of the ruling authority after 1816 seem to have changed in the direction of full state interests and this also had its effect on the information needs. The concerns of the colonial state and its consequent hunger for the kind of information it believed was needed to exert control over the colony and inhabitants defined the structure of the information network. The connection of the villages to the apparatus of the colonial state resulted in a ramified information network. We must however stress the fact that this information exchange and communication was not based on equality. Although the villages on Java and elsewhere in the East Indies became more and more connected to the large global CHARLES JEURGENS INFORMATION ON THE MOVE. COLONIAL ARCHIVES: PILLARS OF PAST GLOBAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE 68 ANRI, Archive of Residentschap Cheribon 2/1, Report of the Resident, March 17, 1817. In a letter of December 30 1816 the newly appointed governor-general and Commissioner-General Van der Capelle wrote to Falck: 'De afstand van Batavia (37 Eng mijlen) [from Buitenzorg CJ] is wat groot. Wij leggen dezelve echter in 3 uuren af, zoo goed zijn de wegen. Wij doen die tour met postpaarden en wisselen 6 maal. Deze afstand veroorzakt echter dat ik eene dubbele huishouding en stallen moet hebben, zoodat ik hier en te Rijswijk steeds alles gereed en in goede orde moet vinden, hetgeen aangenaam, ja noodzakelijk, maar ten uiterste kostbaar is, daar beide huishoudingen altijd doorlopen. Het getal mijne paarden te Rijswijk en hier beloopt thans 80 en ik kan er niet veel van afschaffen'. See Nationaal Archief,, Collectie Falck, Inv. Nr. 82, Letter from Van der Capellen to Falck, December 30, 1816. 59

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Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2012 | | pagina 61