An archival VOC mindset? Archival dilemmas in a early-modern Dutch-Asian context

Admission demands

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


This Research Seminar is targeted on the archives associated with the VOC or Dutch East Asia business. It partly serves as a practical, more counterpart that is specific of Literature Seminar. It addresses a number of the basic archival dilemmas talked about there, but details them into the context of a seventeenth- and 18th-century Dutch-Asian enterprise that is commercial. As the VOC records formally comprised company administration, in training additionally they functioned as a huge repository of valuable and information that is secret a variety of events in early-modern Asia.

The different staying VOC archives are comprised of several various sorts and even „genres“ of documents, including maps. Further, they partly overlap with materials that fall beyond your confines among these collections, but are closely linked to them, such as for instance personal papers, missionary records, travel reports, as well as pieces of art. These diverse materials had been produced with various purposes, are comprised and organised in numerous means, and current information with different perspecitives.

This seminar considers and compares all of these sources from both an archival and a historiographical perspective. It searches for similarities and differences between, in the one hand, the VOC archives and, having said that, archives of contemporaneous Dutch institutions as well as other European international trading organizations. Pupils who cannot browse (old) Dutch may make use of such other European documents, as an example those for the English East Asia business.

The pupil has obtained:

  • 1 The capability to separately recognize and choose literary works, making use of conventional and contemporary methods;
  • 2 The capability to separately recognize and choose sources, making use of old-fashioned and techniques that are modern
  • 3 The capability to analyse and assess a corpus of sources by having a view to handling a specific problem that is historical
  • 4 the capacity to analyse and assess literary works with a view to handling a specific historic issue;
  • 5 the capability to individually formulate an obvious and well-argued research concern, taking into consideration the theory and way of the industry and also to reduce this concern to available and workable sub-questions;
  • 6 the capacity to separately put up and perform a initial scientific study that make a share to existing scholarly debates;
  • 7 the capability to offer a well-founded and clear dental and written report on research outcomes in proper English, whenever needed, or Dutch, fulfilling the requirements regarding the discipline;
  • 8 the capability to take part in current debates into the specialisation;
  • 9 the capacity to offer constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of this work of other people together with capacity to measure the worth of these critique and feedback on one’s very very very own work and combine it;
  • 10 (ResMA just): The capability to be involved in a conversation associated with theoretical fundamentals associated with the control.

Learning goals, with respect to the specialisation

  • 11 Thorough knowledge and comprehension of 1 associated with the specialisations or subspecialisations in addition to regarding the historiography for the specialisation, concentrating specially in the after; when you look at the specialisation Archival Studies: archiving in a colonial context; understanding of the importance of archiving procedures when it comes to manner in which a culture handles its paperwork heritage as a whole and its own historical practice in specific; disclosure, including electronic disclosure, of archives included in the wider history sector.
  • 12 Thorough knowledge and comprehension for the theoretical, conceptual and methodological facets of the specialisation or subspecialisation under consideration, with a specific give attention to the annotated following: into the specialisation Archival Studies: theoretical fundamentals of archivistics; assessment and variety of archives.

Learning goals, with respect to this Research Seminar

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