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Papua: a history

Time period: 1920-2004
Number of interviews: 36
Accessibility: public
Period of interviews: 2000-2004

The collection will be public and accessible during 2023. The collection can then only be accessed in the reading room or listened to online via a protected environment (password required).
The files cannot be downloaded.


The interviews were conducted as part of Dirk Vlasblom’s publication Papua: a history. This book covers five centuries of Papua’s history, focusing on the period from 1945 onwards and with a special focus on the transfer from the Netherlands to Indonesia in 1962. The book focuses on the perspective of Papuans.

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1920 – 2004.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and West Papua. Themes include World War II, Indonesian revolution, transfer to Indonesia in 1962, occupation.


The collection has been digitised and stored permanently at an e-depot.

Papoea: Een geschiedenis

Vlasblom, D. 

University Press, Amsterdam, 2004

ISBN 90-5330-399-5
9 789053-303993

Dirk Vlasblom (1952) studied cultural anthropology in Utrecht. With a brief interruption, he has been a correspondent for NRC Handelsblad in Jakarta since 1990. He previously published Jakarta, Jakarta – Reportages from Indonesia (1993), In a warung on the South Sea – Stories from Indonesia (1998) and Anchors & Chains – A Rotterdam Chronicle (2001).
In a compelling way, the author tells the stories of Papua. For this, he drew on unique sources. Protagonists and eyewitnesses speak for themselves, often for the first time. The archives of mission and mission were systematically researched for this book, also for the first time.
With this magisterial work, the author gives the Papuans their history.

German maids in the Netherlands

Owner: Barbara Henkes
Time period: 1920-1950 and 1986-1991
Number of interviews: 26
Accessibility: Unknown
Transcripts: Unknown

Thesis by historian/journalist Barbara Henkes of the University of Amsterdam, describing the history of German maids in the Netherlands. From the early 1920s, German girls were recruited to work in Dutch households. On the basis of interviews, the book examines what it was like for German women to work in the Netherlands in times of growing unemployment and rising National Socialism. Attention is also paid to the differences between the position of German and Dutch maids, the significance of German confessional girls’ associations and the position of those women who – often through marriage with a Dutchman – continued to live in the Netherlands.

Documenntary VPRO / NOVA: Duitse dienstmeisjes (NTR, 1995):



Collection of interviews VNO-NCW

Project management was in the hands of IISH director Henk Wals and, from April 2020, Frank de Jong (IISH Collection Development)
Time period: 1980 - present
Number of interviews: 8
Accessibility: Unknown
Transcripts: Unknown

The interviews were conducted by journalist Leonard Ornstein.


The recordings were made and edited by Cees Hartman of Hartman Videoproducties.


Researcher Dennie Oude Nijhuis and his assistant Christien van der Harst did preliminary research and prepared interview questions.


Journalist Leonard Ornstein interviews eight former board members and the current general manager of VNO-NCW to record their memories of the relationship between VNO-NCW and the trade unions from the 1980s to the present. The interviews are divided into 19 parts.