(in other words, the average per quarter). The outcome of this can be called a
significant difference when it is unlikely to have occurred by chance. In statistics
the determination of the significance level is in fact made by choice. However,
levels of 95%, 99% of 99,9% are common. In this research a significance level
of 99,9% is chosen to limit the occurrence of chance as much as possible. For
example, if a keyword has ten references over ten quarters, it can be expected
that each quarter contains one reference. However, it appears that one quarter
has eight references, another two, and the rest nothing. Using the Poisson
distribution, the probability of the occurrence of at most eight references in
a quarter can be calculated, in this case 99,99988%. In other words, in this
distribution the chance of the occurrence of eight, nine or ten references in
one quarter is 0,00012%. Hereby, the number of eight references in one quarter
significantly differs from the expected number. This unexpected increase in
references may be an indication of an archival event.
In tables 2 and 3 (see page 84 and 85) some of the subject headings out of the
realia of the Hoge Regering are shown (table 2 on the general resolutions and
besognes, table 3 on the secret resolution). These keywords all have numbers of
references that significantly differs from the expected, at least in one quarter.
In the first column the subject headings are listed next to the total number of
references under those subjects. Then, in the third column, the year and quarter
are mentioned in which a possible archival event takes place for the first time.
The number of references found in this quarter is displayed in column '0'.
To be clear, the values found in column '0' significantly differ from the expected
values. The probability of the occurrence, thus, is greater than or equal to 99,9%.
Because the values of the eight preceding (-) and succeeding quarters are
displayed too, an absolute increase or decrease in the number of references is also
made visible. This is the "quiescence and quickened pace" Stoler refers to. In case
one of those values significantly differs from the expected number as well, this
value is set in bold.
The aim of this research is not to find all archival events of the years 1737-1750,
but only to make clear what archival events might be, and therefore to find some
notable events for further investigation. It should therefore be noted that in my
research I selected results that might reveal the most notable events. In table 2
only those keywords are displayed which have values of at least eight in column
'0' and have a total number of at least twelve references (for table 3 these values
are respectively five and eight). In this selection the number of references on year
level has also been taken into account. Although the results are only displayed
on quarter level in the tables, the mentioned subject headings all have significant
differences on year level as well. This means that the total number of references
found under the year mentioned in the third column significantly differs from
expected (as based on average). Hereby, seasonal influences can be neutralized.52
NICO VRIEND AN UNBELIEVABLE AMOUNT OF PAPER: THE INFORMATION SYSTEM AND NETWORK OF
THE DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY
51 The top-ten of the most used keywords in the realia on the general resolutions and besognes on the years
1737-1750 is, sequentially: Ceylon (252 references), Java (172), Coromandel (115), Malabar (115), Bengal
(113), China or Canton (89), Hoge Regering (88), Makassar (79), Malacca (76), and Persia (70).
The top-ten of the secret resolutions on the years 1740-1750 is: Hoge Regering (85), 'Java's Oostkust'
(Java's East Coast, 65), Bantam (57), 'Vreemde Natiën' (Foreign nations, 27), 'Oorlogszaken'
(War matters, 26), 'Verboden vaart en handel' (Forbidden trade, 20), Manila (17), 'Zaaken naar
Nederland te schrijven' (Affairs to write on to the Netherlands, 14), 'In- en Verkoop' (Import and export,
13), and 'Raad van Justitie' (Council of Justice, 13).
52 For example, compared to the first quarter, twice as much references are found to the third quarter.
The same significance level of 99,9% was maintained on year level.
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