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Council of State donates Netherlands Indies law collection to University of Leiden

The ‘Netherlands Indies Collection’ of the Library of the Council of State was officially transferred to Leiden University on Friday 20 April. Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker received the catalogue of this unique collection from Piet Hein Donner, Vice-President of the Council of State. Leiden University is very grateful to the Council of State for this donation.

Colonial era

The Netherlands Indies Collection of the Library of the Council of State is a historical collection in the field of Netherlands Indies law. The collection comprises over 300 books, collections of dissertations, proceedings and maps on the subject of governance, law and economical subjects from the colonial era as well as a number of works dating from the post-colonial era. The Netherlands Indies Collection formerly served as a reference library for the ‘Afdeeling voor de Koloniën van de Raad van State’ (Colonial Department of the Council of State). The Council of State is an independent advisory body on legislation and governance and is the Netherlands’ supreme administrative court.

Mr. J.P.H. Donner, Vice-President of the Council of State (left) hands over the Catalogue of ‘Netherlands Indies Collection’ to Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker.

“The items in the Netherlands Indies collection mainly concern governance, law and legislation in the former Dutch East Indies, including a remarkable number of dissertations dating from 1914 to 1940. It was the heyday of the governance training programme at university level in the Netherlands, especially in Leiden."

Mr. J.P.H. Donner, Vice-President of the Council of State

Van Vollenhoven Institute

The collection will be incorporated in the Library of the Van Vollenhoven Institute
for Law, Governance and Society
, which is part of Leiden University Libraries (UBL). This collection was formed by the Adatboekerij (library on adat law) founded by Cornelis van Vollenhoven and Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje in 1917, the Korn library, the collection of adat law expert Victor Korn, and the collection of the former Documentatiebureau voor Overzees Recht (Documentation Centre for Overseas Law). A large part of this collection concerns Indonesian and Netherlands Indies law.  The donation of the Netherlands Indies collection is an excellent addition to the existing collection. Leiden’s collection on law and governance of Indonesia from 1800 to the present is arguably the most comprehensive one in the world.

'Thanks to the generosity of the Council of State, the University of Leiden has been able to expand its historical Netherlands Indies law collection with this significant donation. The study of Netherlands Indies law will benefit greatly as a result'.

 

Research into Asia

The University of Leiden is the principal place in the Netherlands where unique knowledge about Asia is made available through education and research. Leiden’s researchers have been making significant contributions to deepening the knowledge about Asia’s past and present for decades. In 2017 Queen Máxima opened the Asian Library of Leiden University, a leading international centre of expertise in the field of Asian studies. The Asian Library holds the largest collection on Indonesia in the world and has major collections on South and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea. Three documents from the Asian collections are on UNESCO’s World Heritage  List.