Category Archives: De Josselin de Jong

Unknown Negerhollands Manuscripts Library KITLV

Only a few months ago I found out that in 2008 about 18 notebooks with texts of the German missionary translator Johann Böhner were presented to the library of the KITLV (see last weeks post).

On Friday January 10th I investigated these texts. It was amazing, among other reasons, because the late Hans den Besten already examined some pages of these texts in 2007, discussed them with Sirtjo Koolhof in an e-mail correspondence and considered them of high interest.

The note books contain in total about 1280 pages of twentieth century transcriptions of eighteenth century liturgical texts. Of one of the eighteenth century Gospel Harmonies, 3.2.2. according to the code Peter Stein introduced in 1986, and which we use in our Clarin database, a typoscript is preserved.

All manuscripts were unfortunately anonymous, no writer, transcriptor or owner were mentioned, nor in the notebooks, nor on the covers. The originals of these manuscripts are stored in the Unitäts Archiv in Herrnhut, Germany, and as far as we know, no letters or bills considering these texts exist to search for a provenance. Like Hans den Besten wrote in one of his related e-mails, I ask myself: Did D.C. Hesseling, who did not use these texts for his 1905 publication, got renewed interest and ordered these transcriptions? Did he plan a new publication? It seems unlikely he transcribed these extensive texts himself. The notebooks  seem to be made by a Dutch and not a German manufacturer however…..

I hope to publish a few photographs and a list of contents of these notebooks soon.

Example of an opened page in manuscript 3.2.2. by Johann Böhner.

Negerhollands 322

De Josselin de Jong’s St. Thomas diary in library KITLV

De Josselin de Jong’s diary of the 1922-1923 archaeological expedition to St. Thomas, St. John, Saba, St. Eustatius, Curacao and Aruba is preserved in the library of the KITLV. It consists of one notebook in which De Josselin de Jong never uses a word of Negerhollands, but in which the process  of finding and interviewing informants (on St. Thomas and St. John), and finding older texts is presented more or less clearly. He even mentions an unknown Jesaiah manuscript, which he tried to copy during his last week on St. John. I hope to publish some examples from or pictures of the diary soon.

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New Negerhollands manuscripts!

In 2008 the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) obtained 18 notebooks with texts of Johann Böhner, the most important eighteenth century translator of Negerhollands liturgical texts.  These manuscripts  are probably copies made shortly before 1940. I hope to study these texts in a few weeks.

http://www.kitlv.nl/