With great sadness we have been recently informed about the sudden passing away of Mona Lohanda in Indonesia. She was an important female historian and archivist in Indonesia, working at the National Archives of Indonesia (ANRI) from 1972 onwards, in particular on the history of Jakarta, formerly known as Batavia. She received several rewards for her contribution to the Indonesian historiography.

MonaLohandaShe was born November 4th in Tangerang, a suburb of Jakarta. After her study at the History department of the University of Indonesia, she continued her postdoc study at the History department, School of Oriental and African Studies, of the University of London. She graduated in March 1974 with her dissertation titled ‘The Kapitan China of Batavia 1937-1942’. By recommendation of the Indonesian historian Harsja Bachtiar Mona studied the history of the Tioghoa-volk in Indonesia.

At ANRI she became a specialist of the history of the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie - VOC). She studied the paleography of 17th and 18th Dutch language and started to form indexes on the VOC archives, so scholars would be supported in their study of these archives. Her ability to carefully write with excellence made her a great historian. She memorized much from the VOC archives and was able to proclaim details from its contents from the head without reconsulting the original documents. She simply knew when fires broke out, floods, riots and diseases in the city of Batavia during the VOC administration.


Thanks to her decennia long work at ANRI she became well known in Indonesia as well as internationally and she became part of a network of researchers that study Indonesia using the original archives. At the same time she produced several history publications and supervised doctorates.

She was an historian who was tenacious and critical of certain problems in Indonesia and wrote down her own thoughts about the history and creation of the Indonesian republic. Her assertiveness and expertise in the field of archives made her a strong historian. Her critical view of Indonesian history has won her many awards. These include the Nabil Award (2010), the Kompas Daily Award (2012), and the Bakrie Award. Her work is timeless and still used todate.

Last but not least, it should be mentioned that for a number of years she transcribed and digitized the vast majority of all marginalia texts from the series 'Dagregisters van het Casteel van Batavia'. In 2011, this index was one of the reasons for Corts Foundation and ANRI to scan this series from the VOC archives and publish it online on a new website: www.sejarah-nusantara.anri.go.id . This important legacy is accessible to everyone worldwide and available for research. We are very grateful to Mona Lohanda and honor her for this.

Some of her publications:

  • The kapitan Cina of Batavia, 1837-1942: A history of Chinese establishment in colonial society, ISBN 979428257X / 9789794282571, Djambatan, 1996
  • Guide to the archives on relations between the Netherlands and Indonesia 1945-1963, ISBN 9789052161105, HuijgensING, 2005 (PDF download available here)
  • Growing Pains: The Chinese and the Dutch in Colonial Java, 1890-1942, ISBN 979972290X / 9789799722904, Yayasan Obor, 2002

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The Corts Foundation

is a Dutch non profit organization that uses the legacy of Kees Corts to perform history and archive projects concerning the former Dutch Indies, especially the period of the Dutch East India company, and end of the colonial period during World War II.





Jakarta, Indonesia
Bangkok, Thailand


also the foundation::
Christiaan G. van Anrooij Fonds









Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia





National Institute for Military History 






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by 24 Dec. 2013