Dutch authors on Asian history presents fifteen essays on Dutch expansion and colonization in Asia before 1800, during the period of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC). This collection offers the opportunity to make acquaintance with the nature and development of colonial historiography as practiced in the Netherlands in the second half of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. Although Dutch historiography on Asia and the VOC underwent considerable change after 1960, especially as a result of decolonization, the work of these early historians has not lost its importance. For many aspects of the history of Asia and the VOC these studies supply valuable data and lively descriptions that have not been supplanted by modern research. They also reflect the development of Dutch historiography and the changing views and interpretations of the Dutch colonial past.
A major objective in the selection of essays was to shed light on two rather neglected areas: VOC activities outside of the Indonesian archipelago and Dutch relations with other European colonial powers. An extensive historiographical survey and biographical sketch of each author establish the place of these authors and their work in the Dutch tradition.
Dr. M.A.P. Meilink-Roelofsz (1905-1988) was keeper of the VOC archives at the Algemeen Rijksarchief in The Hague for more than thirty years and professor in the history of the West European expansion at the University of Leiden from 1970 to 1975.
Dr. M.E. van Opstall (1934-1986) taught history in secondary schools before joining the staff of the Algemeen Rijksarchief in 1971. She published De reis van de vloot van Pieter Willemsz. Verhoef naar Azië 1607-1612 (1972) as well as many articles on the history of Dutch expansion in Asia.
Dr. G.J. Schutte (1940) is professor in the history of Dutch Protestantism at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. He has published on various aspects of the history if the Netherlands and its former colonies, including De Nederlandse patriotten en de koloniën (1974).