Kerala history from Dutch archives

A pictorial representation of the capture of Cochin and victory of the Dutch over the Portuguese in 1656. Illustration: Satheesh Vellinezhi  

A treasure trove of information contained in Dutch historical archives of the 17th century will be brought to light for the first time through a unique Cosmos Malabaricus project, which is under the consideration of the Indian and the Netherlands authorities.

The objective of the project is to make already digitised Dutch archival material accessible to the widest possible audience through translation and publication of summaries in English, the Indian embassy here said in a statement.

The records contain a treasure trove of information on the political and military organisations of the period, dynastic developments, economic matters, social and religious aspects of Kerala during the 1643-1852 period. The material is written in classical Dutch language of the 17th century and is available in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and the Netherlands.

It is a treasure trove and will be of immense value to scholars and people in general, an official said. The seven-year collaboration to shed light on the history of Kerala using archival material pertaining to the Dutch East India Company was discussed at an online discussion held on Friday at the initiative of the Indian embassy. The project aims to train young scholars in both countries in classical Dutch to transcribe, translate, and edit a selection of these sources and produce publications. The project also follows on an agreement concluded between the National Archives of the Netherlands and the Kerala State Archives for the digitalisation of Dutch records in Kerala during the State visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands to India in October 2019. A MoU is under discussion between Leiden University, Kerala Council for Historical Research, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit Studies, National Archives of the Netherlands, and the State Archives Department.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 5:18:25 AM |

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