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National Archives of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science)

A multi purpose visit to Indonesia by the MCH-program director

From March 28th till April 2nd Mr. Roelof Hol, the MCH-program director at the Dutch Nationaal Archief, visited Indonesia. The main reason for this visit was a Conference of the Encompass program.

Encompass program

This Encompass program aims at teaching Asian students to use the archives of the Dutch Colonial authorities in the East Indies for their historical research. These Dutch sources give important insights in the early modern history of South- and Southeast Asia. At the Encompass Conference in Indonesia the University of Leiden (faculty of Humanities) and the Indonesian Ministry of Education signed an agreement on the future exchange of students. Also the participants evaluated the Encompass Program was evaluated. It was concluded that the program has been successful with its high numbers of graduates. For Encompass II, which will last till 2017, the program will only be slightly adapted (for example the financing will be on a mutual base).

Dutch administrative records in provincial and city archives

After the Encompass Conference the MCH-program director visited the Arsip Nasional in Jakarta (the national archives of Indonesia). The subject of this meeting was the MCH working program for Indonesia. This program was complemented with a project comprising the publishing of a guide on Dutch administrative records outside the repository of the Arsip Nasional. In the first phase the focus will be on records kept in the provincial and city archives on Java and Sumatra. The material in the kratong-archives will also be looked at. The activities for this guide will start in the summer of 2011, after the approval of the budget estimate.

Kereta Api archives in Bandoeng

Finally the MCH-program director paid a visit to one of the locations in Bandoeng where records and documentation of the Kereta Api, the Indonesian Railway Organisation, are kept. The Dutch Nationaal Archief is interested in these archives, because parts of those records are unique copies. The Dutch originals were lost in 1945 due to the bombardment of the Bezuidenhout-quarter of The Hague. It became clear that, besides the already executed activities to salvage the material, more efforts will have to be put in to preserve these records. The majority consists of maps and drawings of rolling stock and railway buildings. The Dutch Embassy in Jakarta uses a part of their MCH-budget to support preservation activities. Therefore the MCH-team will advise the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta on the work to be done preserving the Kereta Api-archives.