Among the various archives kept by Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia (ANRI), the ‘Besluiten van de Gouverneur Generaal, Nederlands Indiё 1816-1942’ are one of the most consulted Netherlands Indies archives. These documents contain information on important decisions made by the most powerful person in the colony at that time. However, due to the now out-dated finding aids used in those days, accessibility of a significant part of this archive, classified as ‘grote bundel’ is an obstacle. ANRI and the Mutual Cultural Heritage team of the Dutch Nationaal Archief are facilitating research in order to improve access to this hidden treasure.
On Friday November 30th the Comprehensive Atlas of the West India Company (WIC) part II will be presented at the Scheepvaart Museum in Amsterdam. This remarkable edition contains 472 pages of almost 800 mostly never published maps and other images. It is the first all comprising overview of maps from Dutch West India in the late 17th and 18th century.
Eline Jongsma and Kel O'Neill, two young Dutch/American filmmakers, have documented the unintended consequences of Dutch colonialism in Asia, Africa and South America. This project - Empire - resulted in a series of documentaries under which the documentary Migrants. Migrants is made under the auspices of the Mutual Cultural Heritage Team of the Dutch Nationaal Archief and financed by the Dutch Ministry of Culture. The Empire project will be presented at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Installations will be on view from 16 – 25 November at the Brakke Grond daily from 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM (free admission).
The Nationaal Archief has published a digital guide on 16th to 18th century shipwrecks. The guide ‘I am looking for information on a shipwreck’ is a tool for archival research on vessels of the Dutch East India and West India Company and the Admiralty, and is now online available.
Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas (IPT, the Brazilian institute for technological research) and Scientia Pro Cultura and Arquivo Nacional (Rio de Janeiro) have cooperated in a MCH research project concerning characteristics of archival boxes. Aim was to present a set of quality parameters that contemplate the archival box and its intended use. The technical report on the first phase of the enquiry was released in May 2012.
Renovation work at the Dutch Nationaal Archief in The Hague started in 2008. This renovation programme is divided into two phases. The offices have been renovated in the first phase.
On 15 October 2012 the second phase of the renovation will start; the public areas will be renewed and remodelled. The renovation is expected to be completed in mid 2013.
Recently the National Archive of Guyana and the Mutual Cultural Heritage team (MCH) of the Dutch Nationaal Archief have signed a so called Working Program on the preservation and use of the Dutch records in Guyana. Guyana still has approximately 7 meters of Dutch archive from the 18th and 19th century; when Guyana had a Dutch-Roman judicial system. Material from this archive is used for the West Indisch Plakkaatboek (rules and regulations of the Directors General of the West India Company) published later this year by the Huygens ING Institute.
Hot from the presses: Colonial Legacy in South East Asia. The Dutch archives. This new annual of Stichting Archiefpublicaties focuses on the colonial archive as subject of research instead of merely mining it as a source of historical information. Archives are not static but constantly changing. Created and molded by actors like governments, organizations, commercial enterprises, churches, families and individuals, the archives are again recreated and reconstructed by archivists and other custodians. It is important to realize this when using the information these archives contain.
This year, the first MCH program (2009-2012) will end. Both Dutch authorities responsible for the MCH policy, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, have requested a review on the MCH program in order to establish to what extent its political objectives are met. For this inquiry, a group of 27 individuals involved with MCH have been interviewed.
On March 30th the Nationaal Archief had the honor to receive Her Excellency Aanaa N. Enin, Ambassador of Ghana. Mrs. Enin was welcomed by Martin Berendse, National Archivist of the Netherlands and Director of Nationaal Archief, and Roelof Hol, Managing Director of the Mutual Cultural Heritage team (MCH) of Nationaal Archief.