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In late 2013 and the beginning of 2014 Maarten Manse, student at the Leiden University, and Hendrik Niemeijer, historian and project manager of the Corts Foundation, discovered more than 4300 transcribed and translated diplomatic letters in the VOC archives at ANRI, Jakarta Indonesia. These letters are hidden in the handwritings of the Daily Journals of Batavia Castle. This discovery led to a project plan to publish and provide access to these letters to the public and to researchers of the Dutch and Indonesian history in particular.

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Example of a letter to the Emperor of Japan, as included in the Daily Journals, with the marginalia

The letters were exchanged between the VOC's High Government in Batavia and sultans and rulers in the Indonesian Archipelago and other rulers in Southeast Asia (in particular Siam), between 1683 and 1743. These unique letters are kept in the VOC archive in Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia (ANRI) in Jakarta.

Realization will take place on the Indonesian website Sejarah Nusantara (www.sejarah-nusantara.anri.go.id) with a searchable database of all identified letters, a geographical visualization of the reconstructed document flow between the over 200 different locations, and a few significant letters will be selected and published in the Harta Karun (Hidden Treasures) section of the website.


The project will be realized in six months from July until December 2014.

DutchCulture and the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta support this project and have assigned grants to help realize these objectives.

Also Leiden University supports the project and provides student Simon Kemper to assist in the realization.

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The Corts Foundation

is a Dutch non profit organization that uses the legacy of Kees Corts to perform history and archive projects concerning the former Dutch Indies, especially the period of the Dutch East India company, and end of the colonial period during World War II.





Jakarta, Indonesia
Bangkok, Thailand


In particular:
Christiaan G. van Anrooij Fonds
 Engelbert van Bevervoorde-Van Heyst Fonds



In particular:
Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation







Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia





National Institute for Military History 





The Corts Foundation provides access to the content of this website, its data sets and owned publications under the creative commons licence.



Audited for reliable management and expenditure




The Corts Foundation regards the preliminary  recommendations by the SBF as applicable,  described in the code version 3.0

by 24 Dec. 2013