Papers of Dr David Kenneth Bassett

Scope and Content

This research collection comprises Dr Bassett's doctoral thesis work including drafts and a copy of the finished product, research subject files, his completed articles and conference papers, copies of original documents transcribed, records relating to Java in the seventeenth century, mostly of the East India Company and conference material including the papers and correspondence of other academics working in the field.

A more detailed description of the papers is as follows: thesis presented London 1955 (1952-1955), including drafts, research notes, correspondence and the final version entitled 'The factory of the English East India Company at Bantam (Java), 1602-1682'; subject files on the history of South-East Asia from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries (1957-1989), containing notes used for the compilation of lectures on a very wide span of topics and countries, but covering particularly Malaysia and Indonesia, Vietnam and Burma, the Philippines, Thailand, Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei plus the draft of a book on early spice plantations; articles and conference papers (1957-1990), including copies of all his published material, drafts, some correspondence with Dr Peter Carey, reviews, conference papers as well as copies of Occasional Papers out of the Centre for South-East Asian Studies including the memorial paper to David Bassett himself; copies of original documents and typescripts of secondary source material (c. 1957-1989) including Acheh records 1612-1643, English records from Bantam, Java, 1619-1690, Bantam trade statistics 1607-1696, English shipping in Indonesia 1624-1707, Sumatra factory records 1763-1782, English shipping to China, Borneo, Sulu and the Celebes, the British in the Malacca Straits and Straits Settlement records 1769-1795, notes on British policy towards the Malay states in the eighteenth century, council minutes from Fort William Calcutta, Riau and Dutch reports 1769-1790, extracts from the Dagh register, English East India Company records relating to Malacca, Penang and Java, English country traders, records relating to seventeenth-century Java, copies of original correspondence, Celebes factory records, China records, marine records, lists of cargoes and ships' stock, letter books and court minutes of the East India Company, copies of a number of British Library manuscripts relating to the East India Company in Bantam and other places and some bibliographical notes; correspondence, notes and papers from conferences (1972-1987), including correspondence with Dr Peter Carey of the Asian Studies Centre, St Anthony's College, Oxford.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Kenneth Bassett was born on 14 May 1931 at Rhymney, Monmouthshire and was educated at Rhimney Grammar School and then at University College, Cardiff between 1948 and 1951. He went to the School for Oriental and African Studies in London between 1952 to 1955, where he worked mostly on the records of the East India Company and then submitted his thesis 'The factory of the East India Company at Bantam 1602-1682'. Much of this research material is in the collection and the papers are mostly relevant for any study of the English presence in Java in the seventeenth century.

In 1956 David Bassett was appointed to an assistant lectureship at the University of Malaya in Singapore and this became a full lectureship in the following year. He held a visiting lectureship in the School of Oriental and African Studies between 1960 and 1961 and then was transferred to the Kuala Lumpur campus in Malaya, being promoted in 1964 to senior lecturer. In 1965 he was appointed to a fellowship in history at the Centre for South-East Asian Studies at the University of Hull.

During his career Dr Bassett prepared many papers on the history of South East Asia and much of his research and teaching materials are in the collection. In 1976 he was appointed director of the Centre for South-East Asian Studies, a post he resigned in 1988 with the appointment of Professor King. In 1989 he died suddenly from cardiac arrest.


U DBA/1 Doctoral thesis, 1955

U DBA/2 Subject files

U DBA/3 Articles and conference papers

U DBA/4 Copies of original documents relating to Java in the 16th-19th centuries

U DBA/5 Conferences, and other writers' papers and correspondence

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Other Finding Aids

Entry in South East Asian Studies subject guide

Custodial History

Donated by the Estate of Dr David Bassett in 1989

Related Material

Papers of Professor M Jaspan, Dr G Marrison and Dr H Parkin, all of the Centre for South East Asian Studies [U DJA; U DGM; U DPN]


Marrison, Geoffrey, 'A catalogue of the South-East Asian History collection of Dr D K Bassett in the Brynmor Jones Library in the University of Hull' (1992)