There are many excellent published collections of the indispensable Dutch documents for the History of Indonesia in the seventeenth century. However all of these have a Batavia-centred VOC view of the Archipelago and beyond, and show the relations of the Company with states which eventually fell within its orbit. Aceh, however, was the one state of the Archipelago that never fell within this orbit and maintained a defiant independence until 1873. It is therefore the most interesting state, but the least well known. Historians of Indonesia and of Islamic Asia in particular will need to consult this collection, but it will be of interest also to historians of Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian History more broadly in the early modern period.
Ito Takeshi, Ph.D. (1984), Australian National University, was Professor at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Chubu University. His research interests concern all aspects of Aceh on which he wrote more than ten articles (both in English and Japanese).
All interested in Aceh and its past, in particular its history, Islam and society, and anyone concerned with the trade between India and Southeast Asia in general.