Catalogue of the Archives of the Dutch Central Government of Coastal Ceylon, 1640-1796

Description of the Subordinate Components

   The Governor in Council.

    Correspondence.

   Ordinary.

The Maldive Islands.
The list of the Dutch administrative papers of 1785 and 1796 [1] do not show a separate heading for the correspondence with the Maldive Islands. The endorsement on some of the letters, however, indicate that they were kept separately; there are endorsements on other papers which indicate that they were preserved in one series with the correspondence with foreign powers, especially in India, as it is still the case with no. 2151.
It is due to the action taken by the late Mr. H.C.P. Bell, who was interested in Maldivian history, that this correspondence has now to be shown in this manner. Since approximately 1880 he collected the original Maldivian letters from the Colombo and Galle archives, and some from the records of the British period too, and had them all bound together [2].He did the same with the Dutch translations of Maldivian correspondence and the drafts, no. 2139. He had looked so thoroughly through the volumes that only a very few letters have escaped this fate and are still in the volumes in which the Dutch had preserved them [3]. Those which have been copied and translated are to be found in Mr. Bell's collection in the government archives. Some of them have been published in full in his "Excerpta Maldivinia" in the journals of the R.A.S., C.B., especially nos. 75 - 77, 85, 87, and in his Sessional Paper of 1881 - 1882, no. 43. Others are merely mentioned in notes in the "Excerpta Maldivinia " and in his monograph The Maldive Islands, Colombo 1940.