Plans of eighteenth-century Indian houses, papers concerning the Dutch hospital at Cochin, Tamil texts inscribed on palm leaves, documents of Dutch institutions in India functioning under British rule, and numerous proclamations each drawn up in Dutch, Portuguese as well as Malayalam, reminding one of hundreds of Rosetta Stones, these are just a few examples of the largely unique documents that are referred to as the Dutch Records and are kept at the Tamil Nadu Archives in the South Indian city of Chennai (formerly known as Madras). These materials seem to comprise virtually all that remains of the archives that were left by the Dutch in India to be taken over by the British. (A large part of the original archives must have been lost in the course of time.) They consist of about 1,800 volumes and a couple of bundles (numbered 1 to 1763), stretch 64 metres, and date from the period between 1643 and 1852. The Dutch Records at Chennai in fact encompass the remnants of the archives of four factories set up by the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC, Dutch East India Company), which all functioned as the headquarters of a kantoor (regional establishment): Cochin (headquarters of Malabar, modern-day Kerala), Nagapatnam and later Pulicat (Coromandel, present-day Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh), Surat (Surat, modern-day Gujarat), and Chinsura or Hooghly (Bengal). These four archives have different custodial histories and were apparently put together just because they were all created by VOC institutions and their legal successors.