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

Farewell symposium Mr. Djoko Utomo

After six years of service Mr. Djoko Utomo recently ended his term of office as Director-General of the Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia (ANRI). The Nationaal Archief together with Leiden University took up this occasion to organise a farewell symposium in honour of this remarkable man.

Shared history

The relation between the Nationaal Archief (the National Archives of the Netherlands) and ANRI is one that is borne out of a shared history. The largest collection of papers and documents of the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) in the world is at ANRI in Jakarta. Both institutions possess complementary archives. It is therefore not remarkable that the relationship between the ANRI and the Nationaal Archief dates back a long time ago. Since the late sixties several employees of the ANRI were educated at the Netherlands Archiefschool and did an internship at the Nationaal Archief.

Project Towards a New Age of Partnership

A very important stage in the relationship of both institutes started in the late nineties. In 1997 and 1998 the Nationaal Archief and Leiden University jointly developed a project proposal titled Towards a New Age of Partnership, in short: TANAP.

This project aimed at:

  • providing scholarships for graduate students from ten Asian countries and South Africa;
  • digital access to and linking of the VOC-archives in Asia, South Africa and the Netherlands;
  • training and educational programmes in Asia;
  • exchanging knowledge by way of workshops and conferences.

Simultaneously, the ANRI and the Nationaal Archief initiated a project concerning the preservation, accessibility and linking of the related archives in both countries. TANAP has resulted in VOC-records being worldwide accessible through international standards.

Further international cooperation

TANAP ended officially in 2007 at an international symposium at Bali: 'Archives as Collective Memory of the Nations', organised by Mr. Utomo. The goal of TANAP was to enhance international cooperation. Within the Mutual Cultural Heritage programme (MCH programme) 2009-2012 these goals are still vital. The goals of the MCH programme for the archives focus primarily on digitizing and making information available on the internet. In this way a much larger audience can be reached, virtually anywhere in the world. The finding aids of the archival collection which are digitally available thanks to TANAP, offer an important tool to stimulate international research and collaboration.

Farewell symposium

During the farewell symposium for Mr. Utomo several interesting speeches were held. Speakers were:

  • prof. dr. Wim van den Doel, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and professor of contemporary history at Leiden University;
  • prof. dr. Charles Jeurgens, professor of archival science at Leiden University;
  • Mrs. Sanne Ravensbergen, MA-student of European Expansion and Globalisation at Leiden University;
  • Mrs. drs. Monique Erkelens, Ph.D-candidate at Leiden University.

Cooperation of ANRI and Nationaal Archief in the future

The Nationaal Archief hopes to continue the warm ties and fruitful cooperation with ANRI. In October 2010 an Executive Programme (EP) will be signed between the new director of ANRI, Mr. Asichin, and Mr. Berendse of the Nationaal Archief. This EP will be mainly focused at improving accessibility of 19th and 20th century "Dutch" holdings, most importantly the Algemene Secretarie Archives.