Inventaris van het archief van de Nederlandse Factorij in Japan te Hirado [1609-1641] en te Deshima, [1641-1860]1609-1860
Nederlandse Factorij in Japan

Fonds Specifications


Custodial History

4. The classification of the trade books in connection with the book-keeping.
The outposts of the United Company had an account current with the "Comptior-Genereal" (i.e. the Head Office) at Batavia. The starting point of the book-keeping at the factory was the list of cash money and goods in store, called "Effecten" (Stocks), "Restanten" (Remnants) or "Capitael" (Capital), or - as was the case on Deshima - "Transport van 'sCompanies negotie" (Amount carried of the Company's trade). The account current with Deshima, kept at the Head Office in Batavia, was debited with the amount of this "Capital", just as for the worth of the cargoes to Deshima and for the profits made. On the credit-side were booked the outgoing cargoes, losses, and expenses of the factory. The counter-account at the factory (i.e. the account called "Comptoir-Generaal" on the first folio of the ledger) was credited or debited with these amount, proceeding from the balances of the diverse ledger-accounts. At the end end of the trade-season, the account "Comptior-Generael" was balanced with the "Capital", wich sum appears at ht e head of the credit-side in the factory's ledger of the following season.
In accordance with this procedure the various series of trade books are classified. First the general and yearly reports on trade and on the book-keeping of Deshima are described. (Nrs. 659-716). Nrs. 717-1120 contain the account-books proper. ( Documents concerning cash amounts, stocks and cargoes; journals and ledgers). The item numbered 1121-1354 are annexes to, or extracts from the journals and ledgers (accountof profit-and-loss, expence accounts), whereas nrs. 1355-1422 concern next year's trade. (Lists of goods in demand and estimates of goods to be imported).
Several of these series end about 1795. This is probably due to careless personnel and disorderly book-keeping rather than to loss of the documents. Matters became still worse by the death of the Opperhoofd Gijsbert Hemmy during the journey to Edo in 1798. The warehouse custodian Leopold Willem Ras, who served as a provisional Chief in the next two years, turned out to be unfit for his task. In 1800, the new Opperhoofd Willem Wardenaar straightened the affairs. Several new types of account and reports were introduced, others were disposed of, combined or continued with alterations.
As has been said in par. 10, the archive covering the years1800-1842 was arranged chronologicallyin 1852, the documents of each year being put together in one portfolio. After the removal of resolutions, daily records, reports on trade, incoming and outgoing letters, etc., a number of pieces concerning the book-keeping remained, which were not suited to a classification in series. This is the case particularly with the papers from 1800 to 1830. It may be said to be partly a result of Wardenaar's doings. Therefor the chronological arrangement was maintained, a descriptive list being made of the contents of each unit. (Inv.nrs. 1423-1463).
The classification of the trade books from 1843 to 1860 has been done in accordance with the principles explained in the first part of this paragraph. The so-called "rekening-courant" ( the term appears in 1818) is not an account current with Batavia, but must be called a cash-balance ( kas-rekening).