Colonies and colonial archives
This annual deals with colonial archives. However, this apparently simple title
immediately conjures up questions of what is to be understood by the concept of
colonial archives. These days, the words colonial archives make up a term that is
used frequently and owes much to the attention that anthropologists and other
social scientists have drawn to these archives as an object of research as well as
a source.1 A topic that is frequently discussed is to what extent these colonial
archives can be used in making the voice of the colonised population heard.
In this regard, Jannette Allis Bastian even speaks of a 'colonial and an archival
turn'.2 According to this view, the 'silences' in colonial archives have at least as
CHARLES JEURGENS AND TON KAPPELHOF
The former repository of the General Secretary in Buitenzorg (current Bogor). The building
nowadays is in use as trainingcenter of Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia (National Archives
1 The following may be mentioned here: Richards, Imperial Archive; Dirks, 'Annals of the Archive'; Stoler,
'Colonial Archives and the Arts of governance'; Joseph, Reading the East India CompanyBurton, Dwelling in
the Archive; Arondekar, 'Without a Trace'.
2 Bastian, 'Reading colonial records', 270.