Lennart P.J. Bes

1968 –
politics and court culture in late-medieval and early-modern south India
VOC archives, South Asia

Curriculum vitae

1968born in The Hague, September 28
1980-1987gymnasium, 1ste Vrijzinning Christelijk Lyceum, The Hague
1988-1991studied cultural anthropology and sociology of non-western societies, Leiden University (propedeuse diploma)
1991-1997studied Indology, Leiden University (propedeuse and doctoraal diploma)
1998-2000assistant at Japan guide project, concerning Japan-related archives in the Netherlands, at National Archives, The Hague
2000-2008staff member at the Towards A New Age of Partnership (TANAP) programme, at National Archives, The Hague
2003-2007project manager of Baltic Connections, concerning common archival heritage of Baltic Sea countries, at National Archives
2004assistant at Documentation Centre South Asia (Kern Institute) of Leiden University
2005-2011staff member at Research & Information Department of National Archives of the Netherlands, The Hague
2011-2015PhD researcher, Nijmegen University (Eurasian Empires programme, based at Leiden University)
2018PhD Nijmegen University

Special activities and positions

  • Editor for journal Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, 2003-2006
  • Secretary of ‘Association of Friends of the Kern Institute’ (VVIK), organisation of Indological lectures and other activities, 2004-2006
  • Editor for series Dutch Sources on South Asia, c. 1600-1825, source publications and archival guides, 2008-present


2001  “The Setupatis, the Dutch, and other bandits in eighteenth-century Ramnad (South India).” JESHO 44,4: 540-574. – for the correct accompanying map see JESHO  45,1 (2002).
& Jos Gommans and Gijs Kruijtzer, Dutch sources on South Asia, c. 1600-1825, vol. 1: Bibliography and archival guide to the National Archives at The Hague (The Netherlands), New Delhi: Manohar.
Review of Joan-Pau Rubiés, Travel and ethnology in the renaissance: South India through European eyes, 1250-1625, Cambridge 2000. Itinerario: 25,2.
2003  “Hundreds of Rosetta stones and other patient papers: the Dutch records at the Tamil Nadu Archives, Chennai (Madras).” Itinerario 27,1: 93-112.
2007  Dutch Sources on South Asia, c. 1600-1825, vol. 2: Archival guide to the repositories in The Netherlands other than the National Archives, New Delhi: Manohar.
“Records in a rival’s repository: archives of the Dutch East India Company and related materials in the India Office Records (British Library), London (and the National Archives of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur).” Itinerario 31,3: 16-38.
& Edda Frankot and Hanno Brand, Baltic connections: archival guide to the maritime relations of the countries around the Baltic Sea (including the Netherlands) 1450-1800, Leiden and Boston: Brill (The Northern World 36 I-III).
2008  “Bogus sadhus and famous rhinos: early-modern Dutch artists, missionaries, and scholars on South Asia.” IIAS Newsletter 48: 22-23.
2011  “Depiction of Dhaka in Dutch records.” In: M. Mufakharul Islam and Firoz Mahmud (eds), 400 Years of capital Dhaka and beyond, vol. 2, Economy and culture, Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, pp. .
2012  “Toddlers, widows, and bastards enthroned: dynastic successions in early-modern South India as observed by the Dutch.” Leidschrift: Historisch tijdschrift 27,1: 91-106.
“Gold-leaf flattery, Calcuttan dust, and a brand new flagpole: five little-known VOC collections in Asia on India and Ceylon.” Itinerario 36,1: 121-134.
2015  & Gijs Kruijtzer, Dutch sources on South Asia, c. 1600-1825, vol. 3: Archival guide to repositories outside the Netherlands, New Delhi: Manohar.
2018 The heirs of Vijayanagara. Court politics in Early-Modern South India.