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

Inv. nos. 1307 and 1643 - 1672 (also known as "Dutch Records transferred from Bombay") make up what is left of the archives of the factory at Surat. They date from the years 1748 - 1798. With the exception of inv. no. 1307, of which the provenance is completely unknown, the records were put together at the Department of the Archives of the Bombay Presidency but have different custodial histories. Inv. nos. 1643 - 1669, first still kept at Surat, were temporarily sent to Madras in 1895 in order to be described by the Catholic priest Rev. A.J.M. Heyligers. In 1898, he finished his manuscript, to be published soon after as Résumé of the Contents of the Dutch Diaries in the Agency Records of the Surat District, Bombay. This list, in which the records are numbered I to XXVIII, also includes inv. no. 1672, which had been kept at Bombay at least since 1833 and in fact partly originates from Cochin. In 1907, inv. nos. 1643 - 1669 were transferred from Surat to Bombay and put together with inv. no. 1672. Unfortunately, Heyligers' Résumé only describes (in English) the type and contents of the papers, without mentioning their creators, and gives very superficial dates.
Therefore, when the Dutch official, J. van Kan, travelled in British India and Ceylon in 1929 - 1930 to compile a survey of Dutch and Dutch - related archival materials in this region, he included the missing information and renumbered the records (I - XXX) in his published account (in Dutch): Compagniebescheiden en aanverwante archivalia in Britsch - Indië en op Ceylon. His list (on pp. 77 - 105) also contains an extra description of inv. no. 1672 (made in 1899 by J.Ph. Vogel, Professor of Indology at Leiden University, at the request of the staff of the Bombay Archives who were unaware that Heyligers had described this record just one year before) and mentions two newly discovered Dutch records in Bombay: inv. nos. 1670 and 1671. The latter one actually derives from the British factory at Surat, but mostly consists of papers that were received from VOC and are written in Dutch. In 1931, all records were transferred to Madras and renumbered, following the inv. nos. of the VOC archives of Malabar and Coromandel. In 1939 Rev. J. Fruytier prepared a new, rather superficial list (in English) of the papers transferred from Surat and Calcutta (see under Chinsura), which was published at Madras in 1952 as Supplementary Catalogue of Dutch Records.