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Java and Australia
This manuscript map of Java and the tip of northern Australia is a copy of an earlier work by the Malaysian-Portuguese cartographer Emanuel Godinho de Eredia (1563-1623). In the 16th century, Portugal sent several expeditions to explore the islands south of Malaysia; it is possible that they gained some knowledge about the geography of Australia from these missions. Some scholars have speculated that the Malays had a knowledge of Australia, which Eredia somehow absorbed. The first documented European sighting of Australia was by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, in 1606.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
The Dutch Republic, Enlarged and Edited: Produced with the Care and Work of Matthaeus Seutter
This map of the United Provinces of the Netherlands was engraved by Matthaeus Seutter (1678-1757), an engraver and publisher from Augsburg, Germany. Seutter studied printing in Nuremburg and in Augsburg, as an apprentice to Jeremias Wolff, before setting up his own printing house in 1710. Seutter generally enlarged and engraved the work of others but did very little drawing of original maps. This map was printed by Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-77), Seutter’s son-in-law, who took over the business after Seutter’s death.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Sumatran Muntjac
This depiction of what is probably Muntiacus muntjak muntjak or Muntiacus muntjak montanus (the Sumatran muntjac) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch ...
Contributed by
National Library of South Africa
Letter of Damar Wulan
The Serat Damar Wulan (MSS.Jav.89) is one of the loveliest Indonesian manuscripts in the British Library, with a treasury of illustrations depicting Javanese society in the late 18th century. The pictures are rich in humor and the artist had a marvellous eye for facial expressions and bodily postures (for example, a woman sleeping with her arm across her eyes, a sandal just balanced on a foot). Everyday things are depicted in fascinating detail, from birdcages to garden pots and textiles, with wonderful scenes of music and dance of ...
Contributed by
The British Library
Chronicle of a Javanese Court in Yogyakarta
This illuminated page in Javanese script is from a chronicle of a Javanese court in Yogyakarta. Located in central Java, Yogyakarta was one of two main pre-colonial royal cities in Java and a center of Javanese culture. The history of local leaders and royal families was recorded in chronicles such as this one. The document is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Map of North Borneo
Borneo is the world’s third-largest island. Sabak and Sarawak in the north are part of Malaysia, Kalimantan in the center and south is part of Indonesia, and the Sultanate of Brunei occupies a part of the island along the northern coast. The island was known for centuries to the Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and Japanese, but came under increasing Dutch and British influence from the 17th century onward. In 1878, the Sultan of Sulu leased the northern part of the island to the British North Borneo Company. This map, drawn ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
A Voyage Round the World, Including an Embassy to Muscat and Siam in 1835, 1836, and 1837
In 1832, U.S. president Andrew Jackson, acting on the advice of Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury, dispatched Edmund Roberts as a “special agent of the government,” empowered to negotiate treaties of amity and commerce with countries in Asia. The objective was to expand trade between these countries and the United States. Between early 1832 and May 1834, Roberts circumnavigated the globe. In the course of his journey, he negotiated treaties with the Sultan of Muscat (Oman) and the King of Siam (Thailand). Following his return to the United ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Pustaha about Protection against Evil
This illuminated book made of tree bark is a pustaha, written in the script of the Batak people of Northern Sumatra. Pustahas were books describing magical practices, and were intended for use only by Batak spiritual leaders and their disciples. This pustaha describes forms of protection against evil, and is from the special collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Chinese Children at the Tjap-Gomeh Festival in Makassar
This photograph shows Chinese children participating in the Tjap Go Meh Festival in Makassar, the largest city on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Tjap Go Meh, which takes place 15 days after Chinese New Year, was widely celebrated among Chinese immigrants in Indonesia, and became popular with the local population as well. Also known as the Lantern Festival, it involves parades and performances similar to those on the new year. The picture was taken by the studio of British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page, who arrived in the ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Pendopo of the Palace of the Mangkoenagoro of Surakarta
This photograph shows the pendopo of the palace of the Mangkunegaran dynasty in Surakarta. The pendopo, a large open-air pavilion built on columns, is a crucial element of Javanese architecture. It is open on all sides and provides shelter from sun and rain, but allows breezes to enter. Mangkunegara was established as a small principality with a hereditary ruler in the center of Surakarta in 1757, following the breakup of the area’s main kingdom, Mataram, as part of the divide-and-conquer policy practiced by the Dutch in Java. The photograph ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Two Opium Smokers on Java
This carte-de-visite photograph shows two opium smokers on the island of Java. Opium smoking was introduced into Java by the Dutch, who established a major port at Batavia (present-day Jakarta) and imported Indian-grown opium for local sale and later for re-export to China. Opium smoking was at first mainly a part of social life among Javanese upper classes, but in the 19th century it increasingly spread to the laborers who served the expanding colonial economy. The photograph was taken by the firm of Woodbury & Page, which was established by the ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
View of the Island and the City of Batavia Belonging to the Dutch, for the India Company
This hand-colored engraving of the Dutch colonial capital of Batavia (present-day Jakarta) was created by Jan Van Ryne in 1754. Van Ryne was born in the Netherlands, but spent most of his working life in London, where he specialized in producing engravings of scenes from the British and Dutch colonies. Located at the mouth of the Ciliwung River, Jakarta was the site of a settlement and port possibly going back as far as the fifth century A.D. In 1619, the Dutch captured and razed the existing city of Jayakerta ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Get Out! The Indies Must be Liberated
This 1945 recruiting poster by the Dutch artist Nico Broekman shows a Japanese soldier being booted from the island of Bali, and the caption, “Get Out! The Indies Must Be Liberated.” During World War II, Japan occupied the Dutch East Indies in early 1942. After the surrender, a large number of Dutch submarines and some aircraft escaped to Australia and continued to fight as part of Australian units. In the course of the war, Indonesian nationalists supported by the Japanese took over parts of the country. Allied troops invaded Borneo ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Bathing Room in the Women's Quarter of the Makassarese Village Near Master Cornelis in Batavia
This 1945 photograph shows women and children bathing at the Kampong Makassar internment camp near Batavia (present-day Jakarta) during World War II. After the Dutch East Indies fell to Japanese forces in 1942, many Dutch residents were forced into internment camps, where they stayed until the end of the war. At Kampong Makassar, which operated from January to August 1945, more than 3,600 women and children were held in a space measuring less than one square kilometer. The photograph is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
The Volcano Smeroe (View from the Passaroeng Residence)
This colored lithograph shows Smeroe (Semeru), the largest volcano on the island of Java. Also known as Mahameru, or the Great Mountain, the volcano erupted at least once a year during the 19th century, and since 1967 has been in a state of near-constant activity. This view from the town of Pasuruan shows a plume of smoke coming from the top of mountain. The Dutch painter Abraham Salm (1801-76) spent 29 years in Indonesia, where he produced many dramatic landscape paintings. This lithograph is one of 15 views of Java ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Gustaaf Willem Baron van Imhoff, Governor General of the Dutch East India Company
This engraving depicts Gustaaf Willem Baron van Imhoff (1705-50), who served as governor general of the Dutch East India Company from 1743 to 1750. Imhoff began working for the company in 1725, and held important posts in both Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) and the Dutch East Indies. He attempted to institute some progressive policies in the East Indies, such as establishing a school, post office, hospital, and newspaper. The engraving is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
A Flood on Java
This view, showing people on a raft in a flooded river in central Java's Jawa Tengah province is the work of Raden Saleh (1807-80), who is regarded by many scholars as the first modern artist from the Dutch East Indies. Saleh was born into a noble Javanese family and studied with a Belgian artist in the west Javan city of Bogor before going to study in the Netherlands. He spent 20 years in Europe before returning to his native country, where he lived for the remainder of his life ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Ruins of Prambanan, Tjandi Sewoe, Soerakarta Residence
This photograph depicts the ruins of the temple of Prambanan in central Java, the largest Hindu temple ever built in Indonesia and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Dedicated to the triumvirate of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, the temple was built around 850 A.D. by the Mataram dynasty but abandoned soon after its construction. The Mataram dynasty practiced aspects of both Hinduism and Buddhism, and the temple complex includes some of the earliest Buddhist temples in Indonesia. Prambanan was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. The ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Raden Saleh (1814-1880), Painter in Batavia
This photograph depicts Raden Saleh (1807-80), regarded by many scholars as the first modern artist from the Dutch East Indies. Saleh was born into a noble Javanese family and studied with a Belgian artist in the West Javan city of Bogor before going to study in the Netherlands. He spent 20 years in Europe before returning to his native country, where he lived for the remainder of his life, painting landscapes, local aristocrats, and conceptions of Javanese history. Saleh’s paintings reflect the romanticism popular in Europe at the time ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
The Protestant Willems Church on the King's Place in Batavia
This photograph shows the Willemskerk in Batavia (present-day Jakarta) as it appeared in the middle of the 1860s. Construction of the church began in 1834, after the Lutheran and Dutch Reformed congregations agreed to build a Protestant church in the city. Upon completion in 1839, it was named in honor of the Dutch king, Willem I, but was renamed Immanuel Church in 1948. The photograph was taken by the studio of Woodbury & Page, which was established in 1857 by the British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page. The photograph ...
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV
Wedono of Banjaran near Bandung with His Following in Front of His House
This photograph shows the wedono of Banjaran (a region in present-day West Java near Bandung), in front of his house, with members of his entourage. In Dutch-administered Java, a wedono was a native regional administrator. The photograph was taken by the studio of Woodbury & Page, which was established in 1857 by the British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page. The photograph is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Contributed by
Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and the Caribbean Studies KITLV