The Newsletter 56 Spring 2011

Dutch source publications series on early modern East and Southeast Asia

Leonard Blussé

THE LATE 19TH CENTURY AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY was the Golden Age of colonial source publications in the English and Dutch colonial empires. However, the editing of source publications has gone out of fashion for several reasons. It is a long term, time consuming enterprise which rarely receives funding nowadays and is a rather ungrateful occupation because it cuts into the creative writing of those involved.

Yet cooperative teamwork can still reap extremely useful research tools for the wider academic circle of historians. Since the 1980s, in collaboration with colleagues in China (Xiamen University) and Japan (Historiographical Institute of Tokyo University) editorial teams from Leiden university have published a wide array of source publications which throw new light on the history of Taiwan, Japan, China and the overseas Chinese.