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

Admission needs

This program is a component associated with (Res)MA History Programme. It’s not available for BA pupils.


This Research Seminar targets the archives regarding the VOC or Dutch East Asia business. It partly functions as a practical, more counterpart that is specific of Literature Seminar. It relates to a number of the basic archival dilemmas talked about here, but addresses them when you look at the context of a seventeenth- and 18th-century Dutch-Asian commercial enterprise. As the VOC records formally comprised company management, in practice they even functioned as a huge repository of valuable and information that is secret all kinds of activities in early-modern Asia.

The many staying VOC archives are comprised of many different kinds or even “genres” of papers, including maps. Further, they partly overlap with materials that fall beyond your confines among these collections, but they are closely associated with them, such as for instance private documents, missionary records, travel reports, as well as pieces of art. These diverse materials were produced with various purposes, are comprised and organised in various means, and current information with various perspecitives.

This seminar considers and compares all of these sources from both an archival and a point that is historiographical of. It also actively seeks similarities and differences when considering, in the one hand, the VOC archives and, having said that, archives of contemporaneous Dutch organizations as well as other European trading that is overseas. Students who cannot(old that is read Dutch may utilize such other European documents, for instance those of this English East Asia business.

The pupil has obtained:

  • 1 The power to separately determine and choose literary works, making use of conventional and techniques that are modern
  • 2 The capability to individually recognize and choose sources, making use of conventional and techniques that are modern
  • 3 The power to analyse and assess a corpus of sources with a view to handling a certain historic issue;
  • 4 the capability to analyse and assess literary works with a view to handling a certain historic issue;
  • 5 the capability to individually formulate a definite and research that is well-argued, considering the theory and way of the industry also to reduce this concern to available and workable sub-questions;
  • 6 the capacity to separately arranged and perform a initial research study that could make a share 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 criteria regarding the control;
  • 8 the capability to be involved in present debates into the specialisation;
  • 9 the capacity to offer constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of this work of other people together with power to assess the value of such critique and feedback on one’s very very own work and merge it;
  • 10 (ResMA just): The capability to be involved in a conversation regarding the theoretical fundamentals regarding the control.

Learning goals, related to the specialisation

  • 11 Thorough knowledge and comprehension of just one associated with specialisations or subspecialisations in addition to associated with historiography regarding the specialisation, focusing specially regarding the after; into the specialisation Archival Studies: archiving in a context that is colonial insight into the importance of archiving procedures for the manner in which a culture relates to its documents heritage as a whole and its own historic practice in specific; disclosure, including electronic disclosure, of archives within the broader history sector.
  • 12 Thorough knowledge and comprehension of this theoretical, conceptual and methodological areas of the specialisation or subspecialisation under consideration, having a specific concentrate on the annotated following: in the specialisation Archival Studies: theoretical fundamentals of archivistics; evaluation and variety of archives.

Learning goals, regarding this extensive Research Seminar

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