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

Description of the Subordinate Components

   The Governor in Council.

Internal Affairs.
The heading and division of both the sections internal and external affairs are highly arbitrary. For reasons which at times can and at times cannot be detected, the Dutch administration kept out of the grouping of its records a large number of documents sometimes connected in a serial order, sometimes as loose documents. The right place for several documents should have been between the files "annexes to the council minutes". Other documents, as for example the series memoirs and diaries, are documents which were collected in the secretariat for perusal. Again, the headings internal and external affairs do not originate from the Ceylon Dutch administration which was only aware of being in charge of the main "West comptoir" as a section of the V.O.C.; these headings have been given merely for the convenience of the research worker.
The character of the nos. 2387 - 2506 differs from the remainder in this section. The records are of a legal nature and in a modern heading would be called "administrative law". The Dutch administration which was not aware of any distinction between legislative, executive and other powers, made minute distinctions in the orders which were issued. Some series could be traced but most of the material, found all over the archives in numbered and unnumbered files and as loose papers, had to be made accessible by more or less artificial means [1].