Provisional Inventory of the Archives of the VOC Establishments Malabar, Coromandel, Surat and Bengal and Legal Successors (so - called "Dutch Records") (1647 - ) 1664 - 1825 ( - 1852)

Fonds specifications


Custodial history

Occasionally referred to as "Cochin Records", inv. nos. 1 - 1633 (except inv. nos. 601, 799, 924, 977, 981, 1057, 1307 and 1612 - 1621) and 1672 make up the archives of the factory in Cochin (Malabar) and its legal successors. Apart from materials classified as documentation (basically printed works), they cover the years 1664 - 1822. The bulk, however, dates from the eighteenth century. These are the only archives of a Dutch establishment in India that have survived relatively intact. In fact, the papers that presently remain are almost completely covered by an original inventory in Dutch of the Cochin archives that was most likely compiled in or around 1795 when Cochin was surrendered to the British. This manuscript is inv. no. 1629 of the Dutch Records at the Tamil Nadu Archives and has later been published as Catalogus van Hollandsche handschriften, brieven, en officieele stukken (Selections from the Records of the Madras Government. Dutch Records, no. 6), edited by P. Groot (Madras, 1909). It seems that after 1795 these archives were kept at Cochin for quite some time because new records were added until 1822. These later documents concern the Dutch presence in Cochin after 1795 and mostly relate to the orphan board or juridical matters. At an unknown moment all archives were moved to Calicut, capital of the British Malabar district, and 1891 saw their transfer to the Central Record Department of the Secretariat at Fort St. George in Madras (Chennai), predecessor of the Tamil Nadu Archives. Inv. no. 1672 has a different custodial history, see the section on Surat.
As written above, the first known inventory of the Cochin archives was probably compiled around 1795. Although it does not assign identification numbers to the individual pieces, it gives a good impression of the original structure of the archives, as it lists the different kinds of documents in separate series. After a few unsuccessful attempts during the Calicut period, the British Government of the Madras Presidency published an English catalogue of the Cochin archives, including the records added after 1795 (as well as some documents originating from the VOC kantoor of Coromandel): Press List of Ancient Dutch Records, From 1657 to 1825, compiled by the Catholic priest Rev. A.J.M. Heyligers before or around 1900. By this time, the archives had evidently been rearranged entirely chronologically and numbered (inv. nos. 1 - 1632D), having thus completely lost their original structure. The Press List is in fact a shelf list (simply beginning with the earliest document and ending with the newest one without any serial division) consisting of short references to each record and detailed remarks about some papers that were apparently considered important. In 1916, the List of Volumes of Dutch and Danish Records Preserved in the Madras Record Office was published at Madras. This work, more or less comprising only the short references found in the Press List, includes descriptions of some records not mentioned before, of which inv. nos. 1632E - 1633 concern Malabar.
A small part of the Cochin archives has been published in the series of Selections from the Records of the Madras Government. Dutch Records (nos. 1 - 15):
  • 1. Gedenkschrift of memorie van J.V. Stein van Gollenesse, commandeur op de Malabaarsche Kust, samengesteld in het jaar 1743 A.D., ed. A.J. van der Burg (Madras, 1908), inv. no. 371.
  • 2. Officieel afschrift van het oorspronkelijk gedenkschrift geschreven in 1781 A.D. door Adriaan Moens, buitengewoon lid van den Hoogen raad, gouverneur en directeur van de Malabaarsche Kust, Canara en Wingurla, nagelaten aan zijnen opvolger, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1908), inv. no. 1156A.
  • 3. Memorie van den afgaanden commandeur Frederik Cunes aan desselfs vervanger den Weledelen Heer, aankomende commandeur Casparus de Jong overgegeven de dato laatsten December 1756, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1908), inv. no. 593.
  • 4. Memorie van den raad ordinair van Nederlandsch - Indiën en geëligeerden goeverneur van Ceilon Johan Gerard van Angelbeek aan zijn opvolger in het bestuur van Malabaar den Heer Jan Lambertus van Spall overgegeven 1793, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1908), inv. no. 1425.
  • 5. Verhaal van den nabab Aider Alij Chan van 1763, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1908), inv. no. 720.
  • 6. Catalogus van Hollandsche handschriften, brieven, en officieele stukken, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1909), inv. no. 1629.
  • 7. Copie memorie door den afgaanden commandeur Cornelius Breekpot aan desselfs vervanger den Edelen Heer aankomende titu. - gouverneur en directeur Christiaan Lodewijk Senff overgegeven de dato laatste Februarij 1769, ed. J. Fruytier (Madras, 1909), inv. no. 885.
  • 8. Dagboek der gebeurtenissen gedurende den oorlog met den Zammorijn (4 December 1716 - 25 April 1717), ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1910), inv. nos. 97 - 99.
  • 9. Uittreksels uit de algemeene transports van de jaren 1743, 1761 en 1780, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1909), inv. nos. 358, 674, 1136.
  • 10. Dag Register gehouden door het hoofd der expeditie D.E. capitein Johannes Hackert geduurende den train tegen den koning van Trevancoor beginnende den 18 October 1739 en eijndigt den 8 Junij 1740, ed. A.J. van der Burg (Madras, 1909), inv. no. 287.
  • 11. Memorie nagelaten door den afgaande E.E. commandeur Casparus de Jong aan desselfs vervanger den E.E. Agtb. Heer Godefridus Weijerman, gedagteekend den 7 Maart 1761, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1910), inv. no. 673.
  • 12. Memorie door den afgaanden commandeur Godefridus Weijerman aan desselfs vervanger den WelEdelen Heer aankomende commandeur Cornelis Breekpot overgegeven de dato 22 Februarij Ao 1765, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1910), inv. no. 772.
  • 13. The Dutch in Malabar Being a Translation of Selections nrs. 1 and 2 with Introduction and Notes, eds. A. Galletti, A.J. van der Burg and P. Groot (Madras, 1911) (reprint: New Delhi, 1984), inv. no. 371, 1156A.
  • 14. Officieel afschrift van het oorspronkelijk gedenkschrift geschreven in 1677 A.D. door Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede commandeur over de kusten Malabaar, Canara en Wingurla nagelaten aan zijnen opvolger (ed. A.J. van der Burg) (Madras, 1911), inv. no. 7.
  • 15. Verklaringen van brieven gezonden van Negapatnam, ed. P. Groot (Madras, 1911), inv. nos. 471, 613.
All these publications have been given English titles as well, but, with the exception of no. 13, their contents are entirely in Dutch.