This digital collection consists of 2863 publications related to the colonial enterprise in the Dutch East and West Indies. The publications are mainly in Dutch and cover the period of the last quarter of the eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. They include titles on the cultivation of tropical products such as coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco and rubber, trade, and the colonial administration. But also ephemeral material such as exhibition catalogues with works by the Dutch artist Charles Sayers (1901-1943). Among the titles are De inlandsche kunstnijverheid by J.E. Jasper and Mas Pirngadi, Nederlandsch-Indisch plakaatboek, Indisch Verslag, and Nieuw adresboek van geheel Nederlandsch-Indië. The publications on the West Indies include Surinaamsch and Curaçaosch verslag.
The publications are full-text searchable, and downloadable if no copyright exists on the material. The level of access varies due to copyright restrictions. Some titles can be accessed on library premises only. Information on access restrictions for individual titles is found in the title description.
Colonial Sources formerly belonged to the collection of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam. Leiden University Libraries acquired the KIT heritage collection – titles collected before 1950 – after the closure of the KIT library in 2013. The modern publications on the Caribbean, Surinam and Indonesia were originally donated to the KITLV Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden. With the closure of the KITLV library in 2016 the 12.000 publications were moved to the Leiden University Library.