A Study of the Historical Source Materials on the Society and Economy of Indonesia in the Late Colonial Era

Project Leader:UEMURA, Yasuo (Hiroshima University, Professor Emeritus)

Collaborators:MIZUNO, Kosuke (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
         FUJITA, Eri (Faculty of International Studies, Hiroshima City University)


Outline of Research:

National Archive of Indonesia

National Archive of Indonesia

This project aims to give a general overview of the historical source materials available on the society and economy of Indonesia in the late colonial era (from the beginning of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century) and make bibliographic introductions of the most important ones. The results of the study will be made available to the public in various ways, and we hope that these will make the access to primary source materials much easier than present and in particular help young scholars who will study Indonesian history. Furthermore, we intend to buy some important historical sources which are not possessed in Japan, including the “Catholic Church in Indonesia: Archives of the Archbishopric of Batavia/Jakarta,1807–1949 ,” etc.



Verbaal 11 Octber 1932 no.18 (Dutch Colonial Archive) preserved in National Archive of the Netherland

Verbaal 11 Octber 1932 no.18 (Dutch Colonial Archive)preserved in National Archive of the Netherland

From the beginning of the 19th century, when Dutch colonial rule penetrated deep into Indonesian society, information available to the Dutch rapidly increased. Namely, in Java, where Dutch rule had already established during the time of the Dutch East India Company, even the affairs in the villages were open as a result of converting indirect rule in to direct one. Furthermore, in the Outer Islands expansion of colonial rule from the middle of the 19th century, increased the Dutch knowledge of local society there. This knowledge came in the form of abundant official and private documents, which were partly published but mostly unpublished and preserved in the National Archives of Indonesia and Netherlands. There have been some bibliographical studies on these documents, but they are insufficient for Indonesian studies. In addition, during this period, various newspapers and periodicals were published in Indonesia as well as in Netherlands. However, most of these which contain important information on Indonesia at the time, have not been made use of as historical sources, and there are no complete lists of them. Furthermore, in the 20th century, Japan conducted a lot of surveys on the various matters of Indonesia, and recent historical studies began to utilize local language documents as historical sources. But, to date, there are no sufficient bibliographical studies on them This study aims at gaining a general view of these historical sources as much as possible and tries to give bibliographical introductions to the most important ones. By doing so, this study will clarify which historical sources should be consulted with in the study of various subjects. In particular, this will help a younger generation who will study Indonesia, and contribute to the development of studies in this field. Finally, the documents and books collected by this project will enrich the historical sources of Indonesian history in Japan.