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)
2015-2022University lecturer, Institute for History, Leiden University
2017Guest lecturer, department of history, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta
2017-2018Guest lecturer, National Archives of Indonesia, Jakarta
2018PhD Nijmegen University
2022April-September: Foreign visiting researcher, Historiograhpical Institute, University of Tokyo

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 the series Dutch Sources on South Asia, c. 1600-1825, source publications and archival guides, 2008-2016
  • Editor for the series Colonial and Global History through Dutch Sources, 2017-present
  • Board member of the Society of Friends of the Kern Institute (VVIK), 2020-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.
2016 “Sultan among Dutchmen? Royal dress at court audiences in South India, as portrayed in local works of art and Dutch Embassy Reports, seventeenth–eighteenth centuries.” Modern Asian Studies 50,6.
2018 “The ambiguities of female rule in Nayaka South India, seventeenth to eighteenth centuries.” In: Elena Woodacre (ed.), A companion to global queenship, Kalamazoo/Bradford: Arc Humanities Press.
“The Heirs of Vijayanagara: court politics in early-modern South India,” unpublished dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen.
2022 The heirs of Vijayanagara: court politics in early modern South India. Leiden: Leiden University Press (Colonial and global history through Dutch sources).