Overview of this website

This website allows you to view archival records about the Dutch East-Indies during the period of the decolonisation (1940-1950).


The Archives section provides information about how to research this period. There is a finding aid that describes all digital records. Subjects has background information about researching topics like the Dutch military actions and Japanese government in the Dutch Indies. There is also an overview of the collections where the records came from.

To help inexperienced researchers, several questions and answers have been selected that inform you how to proceed. Finally, a links section has references to other relevant websites to continue your research.


Every pages on the website has a search box in the top left corner. The 'search' menu provides an advanced search form, that allows you to specify your query more precisely. Please refer to the Search Tips for more information on how to use the search engine.

If you are interested in a specific area, you can also use the map. By selecting an island, only records about that island will be found.


The History section provides background information about the Dutch Indies in the period 1940-1950. The timeline allows you to click on an event to get detailed information. You can also zoom in to view more events about that period.

This project comes with a book, 'Verhalen in documenten' ('Stories in Documents', book available in Dutch only). A film was made to explain how to research Indies topics like your own family history. Background information about the international context of the events in 1940-1950 can be found in the international context page.

Accessibility of the website

The website was built according to the Dutch web guidelines. These guidelines ensure the website is usable in a range of web browsers, including screen readers and braille displays used by people with disabilities. If you have trouble using the website despite these efforts, please contact us.

Unfortunately, the text of the original records is not entirely available for people with visual impairments. Where technology allowed it, the text has been automatically recognised and attached to the images behind the screens. This enables screen readers to access the recognized text. Because the legibility of the original material can be bad, the quality of the recognised text varies and can contain strange characters.


The film on the homepage has captions for people who are deaf or hearing impaired. The captions can be activated during playback by pressing the T in the player or the T on the keyboard.


The website can be used by any modern browser, such as Internet Explorer 6 or higher and Firefox 2 or higher.

The film, timeline and the presentation of the documents use Javascript and Flash. These pages are also usable without Javascript or Flash, but the experience may be less user friendly.

You can download the Flash-player from the Adobe website. Javascript is supported by almost all browsers without any additional installations. Please refer to the help-page of your browser to find out how to enable Javascript.