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Nationaal Archief


Name translated in English
National Archives of the Netherlands
Postal address
PO Box 90520
2509 LM The Hague
The Netherlands
Visiting address
Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 20
The Hague
Telephone
+31 (0)70 331 54 00 (general information)
+31 (0)70 331 54 44 (information concerning the holdings)
Fax
+31 (0)70 331 54 99
E-mail
info@nationaalarchief.nl
Website
www.nationaalarchief.nl
building

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Opening hours

onday closed,
Tuesday 9.00-21.00 hrs,
Wednesday-Friday 9.00-17.00 hrs,
Saturday 9.00-13.00 hrs.
Materials to be consulted on Saturday have to be ordered on Friday before 13.00 hrs;
closed on national holidays.

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Access

he building is located next to the central railway station (use the exit at platform 12). Access is free to all. Visitors have to register at the desk in front of the reading room. As a rule, access to records less than twenty years old is restricted. Access is sometimes restricted for reasons of privacy or due to the bad condition of the materials. In special cases researchers can get permission from the director of Nationaal Archief to consult restricted archives. Part of the holdings is available on microfilm in open stacks in the reading room.

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Mission

ationaal Archief is the (inter-)national center for the study of Dutch history and culture. It functions as the "National Memory", which is available to the citizens as well as the government. Nationaal Archief guarantees the safekeeping of its holdings for the present and future generations. It aims to secure the sources for knowledge on and insight in the objectives and proceedings of the Dutch Government, the bodies of state and provincial bodies in the province of South-Holland.

Catalogue room

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Holdings

he holdings consist of 95,000 running meters of documents; 17,000 running meters of charters, 186,400 maps, charts and drawings and about one million photographs (in 2004). The library keeps 2 running meters of manuscripts; 80,000 volumes and 700 journals. Broadly speaking, Nationaal Archief keeps the records of the central government agencies and departments whose functions cover (or used to cover) the State as a whole. Furthermore, it keeps the archives concerning former Dutch colonies and overseas settlements as far as these originate from agencies within the Netherlands, as well as the records that were transferred to the Netherlands. In addition, Nationaal Archief acts as the State Archives of the province of South-Holland.

Among other records, Nationaal Archief thus keeps the archives of the States General (First and Second Chambers), the Secretariat to the King/Queen, the Council of Ministers, the Council of State, the Ministries, the Department of the Generality, the Secretariat to the Stadtholder, the demesnes of the House of Orange, the Admiralty Boards, the Dutch East India Company (voc ) and the West India Company (WIC) and their legal predecessors and successors.

In its capacity of State Archives of the Province of South-Holland, Nationaal Archief keeps the provincial archives as well as the archives of the central government with a regional function from 1842 onward. Besides, it keeps the archives of the Province of Holland from 1813 till 1842 when it was not yet divided into a northern and a southern part. The institution also keeps the archives of Holland before 1813 when it was respectively County of Holland and Zeeland, one of the states of the Dutch Republic, one of the provinces of the Batavian Republic and one of the provinces of the Kingdom Holland. (Actually, when using the name of Holland, one refers only to the western part of the Netherlands.)

In addition, Nationaal Archief keeps the pictures collection of the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst (RVD, State Information Service) as well a host of archives and collections of private persons and institutions of national interest

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History

he department of national archives of the Netherlands was established in 1802 when Hendrik van Wijn was appointed as archivist. The Netherlands were then under influence of Napoleonic France. In 1814, after the country regained its independence, King William I ordered all the state archives up to the year 1794 to be centralized in a number of rooms at the Binnenhof at The Hague, the seat of the Dutch Parliament.

Due to the ever growing accumulation of records, in 1854 the institution moved to the so-called Logement van Amsterdam at the Plein. This was the former lodging of the delegates of the city of Amsterdam during the meetings of the States General in The Hague. Over the years, the quantity of records continued to increase and so did the institution's staff. Three separate departments were created in 1881, respectively dealing with the state archives proper, the colonial archives and the provincial archives.

In 1902 the national archives moved to the purpose-built building at Bleijenburg. A reorganization took place in 1924. The first and second departments now dealt with the archives of the central government up to and after 1795 respectively, while the third department functioned as the archives of the province of South-Holland. (This arrangement is still reflected in the first cipher of the codenumbers of the finding aids of the various archives, with '1' referring to materials up to 1795, '2' to records after that year and '3' to provincial archives.) This departmental division was abolished in 1994. In the mean time, in 1980, the national archives moved to its present building. In 2002, at its 200 year's anniversary, the organization changed its name from Algemeen Rijksarchief (ARA, General State Archives) into Nationaal Archief (NA).

Readingroom with bridge to the self service room (microfiche and microfilm)

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Organization

ationaal Archief is an agency of the Ministry of Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap (OCW, Education, Culture and Science). Nationaal Archief is divided into three departments: Bedrijfsvoering (facilitary management), Publiek (public service, education, presentation) and Collectie (acquisition, accessibility and physical management).

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Activities

ationaal Archief holds courses on strategies how to research in its holdings. The institute also regularly organizes conferences on various topics. Furthermore, it is involved in the development of educational projects. There are guided tours through the stackrooms, which are normally inaccessible to the public.

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Publications

  • Bos-Rops, J.A.M.Y., H.A. van Schie e.a., De archieven van het Nationaal Archief van Nederland (Alphen aan de Rijn 1982)
  • Bos-Rops, J.A.M.Y., and M. Bruggeman, Archief wijzer. Handleiding voor het gebruik van archieven in Nederland (Muiderberg 1987)
  • Inventarissen van Rijks- en andere archieven (1929-1933)
  • Jaarverslag van de Rijksarchiefdienst over ... [1968-1988]
  • Jaquet, F.G.P., Sources of the History of Asia and Oceania in the Netherlands, Vol. 2: Sources 1796-1949 (Munich 1983)
  • Meilink-Roelofsz, M.A.P., R. Raben and H. Spijkerman (ed.), De archieven van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie. The Archives of the Dutch East India Company (1602-1795) (The Hague 1992)
  • Nieuwe archieven, nieuwe toegangen, Rijksarchiefdienst (1989/1990-1991/1992) · Ribberink, A.E.M., "The New National Archives of the Netherlands in The Hague", in: Archivum, vol. XXXI (1986), pp. 77-87
  • Roessingh, M.P.H., Sources of the History of Asia and Oceania in the Netherlands, Vol. 1: Sources up to 1796 (Munich 1982)
  • Rooijen, F. van, Archievenoverzicht Rijksarchief in Zuid-Holland (The Hague 1995)
  • Verslagen omtrent 's Rijks oude archieven (1878-1967)
  • Winius, G., and L. Blussé, "The new Nationaal Archief van Nederland", in: Itinerario. Bulletin of the Leiden Centre for the History of European Expansion [IGEER], IV (1980) 2 (special issue)
Inside view of the stackroom with VOC archives

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The VOC archives in The Hague

ationaal Archief keeps several archives pertaining to the VOC (Dutch East India Company). The most obvious of these are the archives of the voc themselves (finding aid no. 1.04.02), which are made up of 14,933 items (1,330 meters) and cover the period 1602-1811. They consist of the papers drawn up and received (from the overseas establishments) by the six voc Chambers in Amsterdam, Zeeland, Delft, Rotterdam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen. The finding aid to these archives is De archieven van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie. The Archives of the Dutch East India Company (1602-1795), by M.A.P. Meilink-Roelofsz and others, published in 1992. About ten percent is severely damaged and not fit for consultation.

Other archives kept by Nationaal Archief that relate to the voc include:

  • Hoge Regering van Batavia (finding aid no. 1.04.17), created by Governor General and Council at Batavia (1602-1827);
  • Weeskamer te Batavia (finding aid no. 1.04.18.01), created by the orphan board at Batavia (1700-1791);
  • Boekhouder-Generaal te Batavia (finding aid no. 1.04.18.02), created by the accountant-general at Batavia (1699-1801);
  • Schepenbank te Batavia (finding aid no. 1.04.18.03), created by the bench of aldermen at Batavia (1642-1800);
  • (Voormalige) Nederlandse Bezittingen in Voor-Indië (finding aid no. 1.04.19), created by the VOC establishments at Coromandel, Surat and Bengal in India (1703-1826);
  • Nederlandse Factorij in Canton (finding aid no. 1.04.20), created by the Dutch factory at Canton in China (1742-1826);
  • Nederlandse Factorij in Japan (finding aid no. 1.04.21), created by the Dutch factory at Hirado and Deshima respectively (1609-1860);
  • the archives of the pre-companies (1594-1603, finding aid no. 1.04.01);
  • the archives of the various legal successors of the voc (from 1795 onward, finding aids nos. 2.01.27.01-2.01.27.07, 2.10.01);
  • archives of various contemporary institutions in the Dutch Republic such as the States General (1576-1796, finding aids nos. 1.01.02-1.01.08) and the Secretariat to the Stadtholder (1747-1795, finding aid no. 1.01.50);
  • a host of private archives and collections, for instance created by VOC employees;
  • Aanwinsten (finding aid no. 1.11.01.01), miscellaneous acquisitions including papers relating to the VOC ;
  • maps and drawings, including items created by the VOC .

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