Skip to main content

Collection of the Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap

 Collection
Identifier: ubl132

Scope and Contents

All manuscripts are written on paper, either European or Javanese (dluang), with the exception of one manuscript written on palm leaf (lontar). In 1897 Brandes observed that several listed manuscripts of the collections then held in the library of the Bible Society were missing. It is important to keep in mind that the serial numbers in use in the Leiden Library are identical to those which were given to the manuscripts before they were added to the Leiden collections. As a result, the series are not complete in the Leiden Library and some serial numbers are missing. Please note that in his catalogue, Pigeaud (vol. 2, 1968, pp. 712-755) changed the shelfmark NBG (for Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap) in NBS (for Netherlands Bible Society).



NBG 1-118, NBG 400

Javanese manuscripts brought together by Gericke in Central and East Java.



NBG 119 -236

Javanese manuscripts brought together by Van der Vlis in Central and East Java.



NBG 237-393

Sundanese manuscripts collected by Engelmann while he was posted in Buitenzorg/Bogor and Bandung (West Java), with the exception of a few manuscripts written in Javanese collected by Gericke. One manuscript is in Arabic (NBG 293).



NBG-Kl. 1-191

The Malay manuscripts brought together by Klinkert in Tanjungpinang (Sumatra) are shelved separately and referred to with the shelfmark NBG-Kl., followed by a serial number



NBG-Boeg 1-216

Makassarese and Buginese manuscripts brought together by Matthes are also shelved separately and referred to with the shelfmark NBG-Boeg. The serial numbers are identical to those in the catalogues Matthes compiled and published in 1875 and 1881.

Dates

  • 1760-1879
  • Bulk 1820-1879

Creator

Language of Materials

Malay, Javanese, Sundanese, Buginese, Makassarese, Arabic, Dutch

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

The protestant Netherlands Bible Society (Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap) was founded in 1814 in Amsterdam. Since its inception the Bible Society saw as one of its primary aims the translation and distribution of the Bible in the Dutch colonies. In order to realise its mission the Bible Society sent out scholars trained in theology and Oriental studies, whose first object was to study the language(s) and related literature assigned to them.

Johan Friedrich Carl Gericke (Neustadt, Brandenburg 1799 – Düsseldorf 1857) was the first scholar to be sent out by the Society in 1827 with the task to study Javanese in Solo (Surakarta), one of the two princely capitals in Central Java. During Gericke’s first leave in the Netherlands (1838-1839), the young and promising theologian and orientalist Christiaan Jacobus van der Vlis (Utrecht 1813 – Surakarta 1842), who had just obtained his doctorate in Leiden, was appointed as his assistant. Both men sailed together to Java in 1839 and Van der Vlis settled in Solo like Gericke had done more than twenty years before him. Gericke fulfilled his task as a scholar of Javanese philology and as a translator of the Bible, while Van der Vlis was allowed no such chance. What he achieved in the few years he spent in Java was so promising that one can but regret his premature death in 1842.

Benjamin Frederik Matthes (Amsterdam 1818Nijmegen 1908) was a clergyman at the Lutheran church and a teacher at the Mission House (Zendingshuis) in Rotterdam when he was appointed by the Bible Society to study the Makassarese and Buginese languages of South Celebes. Matthes sailed to his destination in 1847. Interrupted by several years of scholarly leave in the Netherlands, his sojourns in South Celebes lasted until 1879. In the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) and after his definitive return in the Netherlands until 1900, Matthes fulfilled his mission beyond expectation.

In 1854 the directors of the Bible Society decided to undertake a serious study of Sundanese, the second language of Java spoken in the Western part of the island. It was not until 1861, though, that the plans could be realised. In the young Willem Herman Engelmann (Keppel 1836 – Buitenzorg/Bogor 1868), who had studied theology in Utrecht and Semitic languages in Leiden where he took his doctoral degree in 1858, they found another suitable candidate. Engelmann was appointed in 1862 and was given leave to study Sanskrit and the Indonesian linguistics before he set off for Java in 1864. After his arrival he settled in Bogor and moved soon to Bandung, in the heart of the Sundanese country. His sudden death in December 1868 deprived science of an excellent scholar.

Hillebrandus Cornelius Klinkert (Amsterdam 1829 - Leiden 1913), a missionary of the Baptist Church, was already active in the Dutch Indies when he was appointed by the Society in 1863. An expert linguist and translator, Klinkert was asked to prepare a new translation in Malay of the New Testament in the Residence Riau, where the purest Malay was said to be spoken and written.

Extent

13 metres (c. 750 Indonesian manuscripts)

Abstract

De collectie afkomstig van de bibliotheek van het Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap, sinds de jaren 1905-1915 als langdurig bruikleen gedeponeerd in de Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden, omvat ca. 750 handschriften in het Maleis, Javaans, Soendanees, Boeginees, Makassaars en Arabisch. De handschriften werden op Java, Sumatra en Zuid-Celebes verzameld door de taalkundigen J.F.C. Gericke (1799- 1857), C.J. van der Vlis (1813-1842), W.H. Engelmann (1836-1868), B. F. Matthes (1818-1908) en H.C. Klinkert (1829-1913), afgevaardigden van het Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap in de jaren 1828-1879.

Abstract

In the years 1905-1915 the directors of the Netherlands Bible Society gave on permanent loan to the Leiden University Library several collections consisting of c. 750 manuscripts in Malay, Javanese, Sundanese, Buginese, Makassarese and Arabic. These manuscripts were brought together during the years 1828-1879 in Java, Sumatra and South Celebes by the scholars J.F.C. Gericke (1799-1857), C.J. van der Vlis (1813-1842), W.H. Engelmann (1836-1868), B. F. Matthes (1818-1908) and H.C. Klinkert (1829-1913), who were acting as representatives of the Netherlands Bible Society.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

I. Unpublished inventories in manuscript

The Special Collections (Oriental Collections) of the Leiden University Library hold old unpublished inventories and scholarly notes on the collections of the Netherlands Bible Society. They were compiled and annotated in 1897 by J.L.A. Brandes (1857-1905) in the library of the Netherlands Bible Society. See ‘Beschrijvende catalogus van de Javaansche handschriften van de verzameling van het Nederlandsch Bijbel Genootschap, alphabetisch geordend’ (Cod.Or. 8766-A, B, C, D), ‘Notes Brandes. Netherlands Bible Society. Collection of Javanese manuscripts. Copies of selected texts mainly law and didactic-moralistic’ (Cod.Or. 8994 [1-19]), and ‘Stukken betrekking hebbende op de Javaansche enz. handschriften van het Ned. Bijbelgenootschap’ (Cod.Or. 8995 [1-2]). Brandes observed that fifty-one of the listed and numbered manuscripts were missing in the collections. Since the old numbering was maintained after the transfer of the collections to Leiden, the current numbering system is also lacunose.

II. Published catalogues

Javanese and Madurese

As early as 1862 W.H. Engelmann compiled a catalogue of the Javanese manuscripts brought together by J.F.C. Gericke (NBG 1-118, NBG-400) and C.J. van der Vlis (NBG119-236), but his sudden death in December 1868 prevented him from seeing it published (see Cod.Or. 8995 [4]). Fortunately, P.J. Veth (1814-1895) brought Engelmann’s project to completion within a relatively short delay (‘De Javaansche handschriften in de bibliotheek van het Nederlandsch Bijbelgenootschap’, Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië (1870), vol. 2, pp. 157-186).

H.H Juynboll (1867-1945) made new descriptions after the manuscripts had been deposited in the Leiden Library (Supplement op den Catalogus van de Javaansche en Madoereesche handschriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek. Vol. 1 : Madoereesche handschriften, Oudjavaansche inscripties en Oud- en Middeljavaansche gedichten. 1907, passim, followed by Supplement op den Catalogus van de Javaansche en Madoereesche handschriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek. Vol. 2. Nieuwjavaansche gedichten en Oud-, Middel- en Nieuw-Javaansche prozageschriften. 1911, passim).

The most recent scholarly catalogue was compiled by Th. Pigeaud (1899-1988) (Literature of Java : catalogue raisonné of Javanese manuscripts in the Library of the University of Leiden and other public collections in the Netherlands, Vol. 2 : Descriptive lists of Javanese manuscripts, 1968, pp. 712-755).

Sundanese

While W.H. Engelmann managed to describe the manuscripts brought together by his predecessors in Java, his premature death prevented him from preparing a catalogue of the Sundanese manuscripts he had acquired in West Java on behalf of the Netherlands Bible Society (NBG 237-393). An unpublished list was made after his death in the library of the Society (see Cod. Or. 8995 [8]), and it was the indefatigable H.H Juynboll who completed and published the descriptions after the manuscripts had entered the Leiden collections (Supplement op den catalogus van de Sundaneesche handschriften en catalogus van de Balineesche en Sasaksche handschriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek. Leiden 1912, pp. 3-71).

Malay

The Malay manuscripts brought together by H.C. Klinkert (NBG-Kl. 1-191) were described by Ph.S. van Ronkel (1870-1954) (Supplement-catalogus der Maleische en Minangkabausche handschriften in de Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek, Leiden 1921, passim), and more recently by Teuku Iskandar, (Catalogue of Malay, Minangkabau, and South Sumatran manuscripts in the Netherlands, Leiden 1999, vol. 1, pp. 702-748).

Buginese and Makassarese

The Buginese and Makassarese manuscripts (NBG-Boeg 1-216) brought together by B.F. Matthes were described by himself (Kort verslag aangaande alle mij in Europa bekende Makasaarsche en Boeginesche handschriften, Amsterdam 1875, pp. 1-84). This catalogue was followed by a supplement containing the descriptions of the manuscripts Matthes acquired during his last stay in South Celebes (Vervolg op het Kort verslag aangaande alle mij in Europa bekende Makasaarsche en Boeginesche handschriften, Amsterdam 1881).

R.A. Kern (1875-1958) published in his catalogue a selection of Matthes’ manuscripts, according to the subjects relevant for his work on I La Galigo (Catalogus van de Boegineesche, tot den I La Galigo-cyclus behoorende handschriften der Leidsche Universiteit alsmede van die in andere Europeesche bibliotheken, Leiden 1939, pp. 1003-1071).

Custodial History

The manuscripts were brought together by the five scholars who were employed by the Netherlands Bible Society in Java, South Celebes and Sumatra between 1828 and 1879.

The Javanese manuscripts were collected by J.F.C. Gericke and C.J. van der Vlis in Central and East Java in the years 1828-1856.

The Buginese en Makassarese manuscripts were brought together by B.F. Matthes in South Celebes in the years 1848-1879.

The Sundanese manuscripts were collected by W. H. Engelmann in Bandung (West Java) in the years 1865-1868.

The Malay manuscripts were brought together by H.C. Klinkert, mainly in Tanjungpinang, residentie Riau, in the years 1864-1867.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Between 1905 and 1915, the Directors of the Netherlands Bible Society (Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap) in Amsterdam granted the Leiden University Library the permanent loan of their important collections of Indonesian manuscripts. The Javanese and Sundanese manuscripts brought together by Gericke, Van der Vlis and Engelmann entered the Library in 1905, followed in the same year by the collection of Buginese and Makassarese manuscripts collected by Matthes. Finally, the Malay manuscripts collected by Klinkert were transferred to Leiden in 1915.

Accruals

No future additions are to be expected.

Related Materials

The permanent loan collection of the Netherlands Bible Society is part of the larger Indonesian special collections preserved at the Leiden University Library.

Separated Materials

The Netherlands Bible Society, based at Haarlem, has a library with extensive Indonesian collections.

The archives of the Netherlands Bible Society (Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap) are held in the Utrecht Archives (Het Utrechts Archief).

Bibliography

  • Brandes, J., ‘Beschrijvende catalogus van de Javaansche handschriften van de verzameling van het Nederlandsch Bijbel Genootschap, alphabetisch geordend’, 1897, in Cod.Or. 8766 (A,B,C, D), Cod.Or. 8994, Cod.Or. 8995.
  • Brink, H. van den, Dr. Benjamin Frederik Matthes : zijn leven en arbeid in dienst van het Nederlandsch Bijbelgenootschap, Amsterdam 1943.
  • Engelmann, W.H. (P.J. Veth, red.), ‘De Javaansche handschriften in de bibliotheek van het Nederlandsch Bijbelgenootschap’, Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië (1870), vol. 2, pp. 157-186.
  • Gronemeijer, C.F., Gedenkboek van het Nederlandsch Bijbelgenootschap 1814-1914, Amsterdam 1914.
  • Iskandar, Teuku, Catalogue of Malay, Minangkabau, and South Sumatran manuscripts in the Netherlands, Leiden 1999, vol. 1, pp. 702-748 [coll. Klinkert].
  • Juynboll, H.H., Supplement op den Catalogus van de Javaansche en Madoereesche handschriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek. Deel I. Madoereesche handschriften, Oudjavaansche inscripties en Oud- en Middeljavaansche gedichten. Leiden 1907.
  • Juynboll, H.H., Supplement op den Catalogus van de Javaansche en Madoereesche handschriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek. Deel 2. Nieuwjavaansche gedichten en Oud-, Middel- en Nieuw-Javaansche prozageschriften. Leiden 1911.
  • Juynboll, H.H., Supplement op den catalogus van de Sundaneesche handschriften en catalogus van de Balineesche en Sasaksche handschriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek. Leiden 1912, pp. 3-71.
  • Kern, R.A., Catalogus van de Boegineesche, tot den I La Galigo-cyclus behoorende handschriften der Leidsche Universiteit alsmede van die in andere Europeesche bibliotheken, Leiden 1939, pp. 1003-1071.
  • Lieburg, F.A. van, De Wereld in : het Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap 1814-2014. Amsterdam 2014.
  • Matthes, B.F., Kort verslag aangaande alle mij in Europa bekende Makasaarsche en Boeginesche handschriften, Amsterdam 1875, pp. 1-84.
  • Matthes, B.F.,Vervolg op het Kort verslag aangaande alle mij in Europa bekende Makasaarsche en Boeginesche handschriften, Amsterdam 1881.
  • Molhuysen, P.C. en P.J. Blok (red.), Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, Leiden, 1912, vol. 2. kol. 883 [Biography B.F. Matthes].
  • Pigeaud, Th., Literature of Java : catalogue raisonné of Javanese manuscripts in the Library of the University of Leiden and other public collections in the Netherlands, Vol. 2 : Descriptive lists of Javanese manuscripts, Leiden 1968 (Codices manuscripti ; 10).
  • Plomp, M., ‘J.F.C. Gericke en het Instituut van de Javaanse taal’, in: Willem van der Molen en Ben Arps (red.), Woord en schrift in de oost: de betekenis van zending en missie voor de studie van taal en literatuur in Zuidoost-Azië, Leiden 2000, (Semaian ; 19), pp. 89-105.
  • Ronkel, Ph.S. van, Supplement-catalogus der Maleische en Minangkabausche handschriften in de Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek, Leiden 1921.
  • Swellengrebel, J.L., In Leijdeckers voetspoor : anderhalve eeuw bijbelvertaling en taalkunde in de Indonesische talen : vol. 1 : 1820-1900, ’s-Gravenhage 1974 (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde ; 68).
  • -Veth, P.J., ‘W.H. Engelmann’, Tijdschrift van Nederlandsch Indië, 1869, vol. 1, pp. 315-322.

General

The material of this collection can be requested at the Special Collections Reading Room.

Title
Collection guide of the collection of the Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap (1760-1879)
Subtitle
Collectie van het Nederlands Bijbelgenootschap
Author
Marie-Odette Scalliet, 2009
Date
2009
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Revision Statements

  • 27 May 2020: latest update

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Contact:
Leiden Witte Singel 27 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857