An archival VOC mentality? Archival dilemmas within an early-modern Dutch-Asian context

Admission needs

This program is a component for the (Res)MA History Programme. It isn’t available for BA pupils.


This Research Seminar targets the archives for the VOC or Dutch East Asia business. It partly functions as a practical, more counterpart that is specific of Literature Seminar. It addresses a few of the basic archival problems talked about here, but details them into the context of the seventeenth- and 18th-century Dutch-Asian commercial enterprise. Whilst the VOC records formally comprised company management, in training they even functioned as a huge repository of valuable and key info on all kinds of occasions in early-modern Asia.

The different staying VOC archives consist of several numerous kinds if not “genres” of papers, including maps. Further, they partly overlap with materials that fall beyond your confines among these collections, but are closely pertaining to them, such as for example personal documents, missionary records, travel reports, as well as pieces of art. These diverse materials had been produced with various purposes, consist and organised in various methods, and current information with various perspecitives.

This seminar considers and compares all of these sources from both an archival and a historiographical standpoint. In addition searches for similarities and differences when considering, from the one hand, the VOC archives and, having said that, archives of contemporaneous Dutch organizations as well as other European trading that is overseas. Pupils who cannot browse (old) Dutch may make use of such other European documents, as an example those associated with the English East Asia business.

The pupil has obtained:

  • 1 The capacity to separately recognize and choose literature, utilizing conventional and techniques that are modern
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  • 2 The capability to individually recognize and choose sources, making use of conventional and techniques that are modern
  • 3 The capability to analyse and assess a corpus of sources having a view to handling a specific problem that is historical
  • 4 the capacity to analyse and assess literature by having a view to handling a specific historic issue;
  • 5 the capacity to individually formulate an obvious and research that is well-argued, taking into consideration the concept and approach to the industry and also to reduce this concern to available and workable sub-questions;
  • 6 the capacity to individually arranged and perform an initial scientific study that will make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;
  • 7 the capacity to offer a well-founded and clear dental and written report on research outcomes in proper English, whenever needed, or Dutch, fulfilling the requirements associated with control;
  • 8 the capacity to take part in present debates into the specialisation;
  • 9 the capability to offer constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of this work of other people in addition to capability to assess the value of such critique and feedback on one’s very own work and integrate it;
  • 10 (ResMA only): The power to take part in a conversation associated with theoretical fundamentals for the control.

Learning objectives, related to the specialisation

  • 11 Thorough knowledge and comprehension of just one for the specialisations or subspecialisations also for the historiography associated with the specialisation, concentrating specially regarding the after; within the specialisation Archival Studies: archiving in a context that is colonial understanding of the importance of archiving processes for the manner in which a culture handles its paperwork heritage generally speaking as well as its historic practice in particular; disclosure, including digital disclosure, of archives included in the wider history sector.
  • 12 Thorough knowledge and comprehension regarding the theoretical, conceptual and methodological areas of the specialisation or subspecialisation under consideration, having a focus that is particular the annotated following: in the specialisation Archival Studies: theoretical fundamentals of archivistics; assessment and collection of archives.

Learning goals, related to this extensive Research Seminar

  • 13 Thorough knowledge of the organization associated with VOC archives and exactly how it even compares to the organization of closely relevant materials (personal documents, missionary records, etc.), to archives of contemporaneous Dutch organizations also to documents of other European trading that is overseas.
  • 14 Thorough knowledge of exactly just how these different organisational concepts are associated with the goals and audiences of the materials and also the kind and tone of data they have.
  • 15 the capacity to analyse and compare archives developed in a early-modern Dutch-non-Western context.
  • 16 (ResMA only): the capacity to set up and execute original research that raises brand new concerns, pioneers brand new apporaches and/or points to brand new guidelines for future research.