OB coverThis year four hundred years ago Batavia (and thus also Jakarta) was recorded on the world map. A historical event that can be heavily debated. About how it came about and the circumstances under which it happened. About the consequences for world trade, monopolism, colonialism and the realization of the Republic of Indonesia.

Fact is that 1619 marked a moment in the history of Indonesia. A moment that was commemorated three hundred years later (in 1919) with the publication of the three volumes series called 'Oud Batavia' by the Dutch 'Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen'. The first edition of this series was published in 1922, the second edited edition in 1935.

The 1922 edition has been rescanned (including OCR text recognition) and made available and full text searchable by The Corts Foundation, and published here on this website. Each volume separately is shown in PDF format and freely downloadable.

VOL. 1 (1922, 567 pages) - [Open online viewer] [PDF - 14mb]
VOL. 2 (1922, 415 pages) - [Open online viewer] [PDF - 11mb
VOL. 3 (1923, 348 pages) - [Open online viewer] [PDF - 41mb]

Example of the online viewer: 

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The text of the introduction of these three volumes (translated here from Dutch) makes clear why this series has been published at the time:

April 1917 the board of directors of the 'Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen' had the intention to express her sympathy for the festivities to commemorate the three hundred years of existence of the city of Batavia by publishing a commemoration book. They asked her honorary member the national archivist Dr. de Haan and were delighted that he was committed to take on the composition of the book. Originally it was intended to be a anniversary issue and no more than a summarized description of the old location illustrated with images and matching captions. Circumstances however lead to another approach. Soon after it was clear that the war situation prevented the publication to be before the date of May 30th, 1919, the original plan was given up and Dr. de Haan was given the full freedom to organize the nature, size and time of publication of the work. The author then decided to extensively use the immense amounts of documentation and archives on Batavia and do justice in the intended publication.

The delay of the publication of the book three years after the anniversary is not to be regretted.The way in which the author was able to elaborate all sources led to a true standard history work, in which Old Batavia has been described in word and image once and for all. At the presentation to the general public the board of directors expressed her sincere thanks to the honorary member for his achievements. May his work be satisfactory and raise interest into the glorious history of Batavia to a broad audience. De board also thanks the government, that allowed the author to work on the publication during his civil service position, the History Department, whos photographer J. J. de Vink made most of the photographic images in the third volume, and the gentlemen  Dr. J. W. Yzerman, H. D. H. Bosboom and B. Hoetink, who willingly assisted in collecting sources in Holland. The board of the 'Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen'.

published by the Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen following the three hundred years of existence of the city in 1919.
G. KOLFF & Co. - BATAVIA - 1922.

Three examples of images from the third volume of the series 'Oud Batavia'.

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1. House of Reinier de Klerk in Molenvliet West [Open viewer >>]

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2. Golden medal given by the Chinese to the resigned governor-general Jacques Specx [Open viewer >>]

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3. Original letter dated October 12th, 1712 [Open viewer >>]

Other Dutch sources and references to the history of Batavia and Jakarta:

[Wikipedia] [Dutch National Archives] [Atlas Mutual Heritage




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


also the foundation::
Christiaan G. van Anrooij Fonds









Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia





National Institute for Military History 






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by 24 Dec. 2013