Marginalia to the Daily Journals 1659-1807

More then 110,000 entries give access to 165 volumes of the Daily Journals of Batavia. This imporant historical source can be accessed with a detailed secondary entry, a history search database. As the image shows, every folio page has short text summaries written in the margins of the text. These short texts are called ‘marginalia’. Mona Lohanda and Hendrik E. Niemeijer have transcribed, collated and annotated all the marginalia from all the volumes of the Daily Journals that contain marginalia.

At the end of a particular year, a clerk in Batavia Castle copied all the marginalia from every page which was written that year. He listed all marginalia chronologically, from January to December, and added the completed yearly marginalia list to the front pages of a the new volume for that year, before it was bound. These lists can still be found in every volume before January. All the marginalia lists from all volumes of Daily Journals having such lists have been entered into a database. This entry of all marginalia into a database gives researchers the most detailed reference to every folio page of the Daily Journals.

The transcribed marginalia have been carefully transcribed, a process which took years. The marginalia have been transcribed from the individual folio pages. If pages are difficult to read because of browning or ink corrosion, parts of the marginalia lists at the beginning of a volume have been transcribed. After transcription the text has been collated, namely compared with the originals once more and corrected where necessary. Collation has been done once and there may still be some transcription errors. In the case of the names of individuals and ships, the text next to the marginalia itself has been consulted. First names have been added to the family names. The digital marginalia might also contain some additional words from the text if the text of a marginalium did not make sense or was wrongly formulated.

All incoming and outgoing letters in the period 1683-1694 mentioned in the marginalia are dated in notes. The dates of letters up to 1694 have been collected from the text. The eighteenth-century Daily Journals often do not give the dates of individual letters anymore. The letter dates have been placed in notes in square brackets [...] and presented in pop-ups. The letters mentioned in the Daily Journals are directly related to the TANAP Database of VOC Documents.

The 2013 digitalization project

All 165 volumes were digitalized by ANRI in 2013. The digital archive volumes can be searched with a detailed secondary entry. Every folio page of the handwritten daily journals have short text summaries written in the margins of the text. These short texts are called ‘marginalia’. At the end of a particular year, a clerk copied all the marginalia from every page written in that year for the front pages of a new volume. The marginalia were listed chronologically into a ‘marginalia register’ and all the front pages were then added to the volume for that particular year before it was bound. To make a detailed secondary entry, these marginalia have been entered into a database. During a correction round, every single marginalium has been carefully compared with the marginalia on the specific folio pages. Through the entry of all marginalia into a database, researchers now have a detailed reference tool for almost every folio page of the daily journals.

The completion of the marginalia database in 2014-2017

Former senior ANRI researcher, Mona Lohanda, started transcribing the marginalia in the 1990s and devoted almost seven years to transcribing this precious source. Starting in 2010 with roughly 6000 pages of transcribed text on his desk, Hendrik E. Niemeijer collated and annotated all the marginalia from all the volumes of the Daily Journals previously transcribed by Mona Lohanda. The transcribed marginalia were carefully checked against the individual folio pages. If pages were difficult to read because of foxing of the paper or ink corrosion, the marginalia lists at the beginning of each separate volume were consulted. Collation (comparing the transcribed text with the original text) has been done only once and there may still be some transcription errors. In the case of the names of individuals and ships, the text immediately adjacent to the marginalia itself has been consulted. First names have also been added to the family names. The digital marginalia might also contain some additional words from the text if the text of a marginalium was wrongly formulated or corrupt.

The following persons have made this digital publication possible through their great effort and expertise:

  • Mona Lohanda, Senior Archivist ANRI
  • Hendrik E. Niemeijer, Historian
  • Team ANRI (Risma, Seno, Haris, scan operators)
  • Doreen van den Boogaart, Leiden University
  • Lydia van Wijk, Leiden University
  • Hanna te Velde, Leiden University
  • Fenna Ytsma, Leiden University
  • Marco Roling, The Corts Foundation, Information engineer
  • Jelle Gerbrandy, Software engineer

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RESEARCH DATA OF THE MARGINALIA

You may download the data set of the marginalia here for your own research and analysis. 

Dataset on marginalia v20170925: