An Inventory Of Tomb-Stones of the Museum Taman Prasasti
More than 1000 descriptions and photographs of tomb-stones of the Tanah Abang cemetery, Jakarta, founded in 1798. Including a name index and transcriptions in Dutch or English and translations in Bahasa Indonesia. Click here for the searchable inventory.
This work follows pioneering work from Rob Dumas, who has earlier photographed and transcribed Tanah Abang tomb-stones (here and here), and added references to genealogical information. In the coming time we will work to merge these two resources.
By Arnoud Haag, volunteer of the Indonesian Heritage Society, Jakarta and member of the East Indies Genealogical Society, IGV.
The Museum Taman Prasasti, Tanah Abang, Jakarta
In the 17th and 18th century most Europeans who died in Batavia were buried in or around the churches of the town. By the late 18th century this was considered unhealthy and in 1798 a new cemetery was opened in Tanah Abang, south of the town. A number of large tomb-stones were moved from their former location to the new cemetery and were used to cover new tombs. The cemetery was closed in the 1960s and a large part of the area was cleared for urban development with most of the mortal remains moved to elsewhere. About 1300 tomb-stones were re-arranged on the remaining about 1 hectare of the former cemetery and in 1977 this part was opened to the public as an open-air museum of tomb-stones, called Museum Taman Prasasti.
The present inventory of the tomb-stones
At present slightly over 1000 stones are on display. In the course of 2019 Dutch-speaking volunteers of the Indonesian Heritage Society assisted the museum with preparing an inventory of the tomb-stones including transcription of the mostly Dutch texts on the stones and their translation to Bahasa Indonesia. The museum renumbered and photographed the stones, and for each stone a standard form has been filled out. All forms are included in the current document.
Location of the Stones
The museum area is divided in 10 blocks, labeled A to J, separated by foot paths; see the plan below. Other stones are fixed vertically in the east and west walls of the museum complex. For ease of finding a particular stone on site, the inventory forms are arranged by block and follow within each block as much as possible a clockwise sequence starting from the southeast corner: south, west, north, east. In Block C and F this sequence is not yet fully implemented because the stones are currently being re-arranged by the museum.
Note on Transcriptions
For ease of reading we have not followed the usual practice of adding “/” signs in the transcriptions to indicate line breaks in the original texts. For the same reason we have not followed the use of uppercase and lowercase letters as on the stones, but used uppercase letters for the names of the buried person(s) and lowercase for the remainder of the text.
The transcriptions have been carefully checked but nevertheless may contain errors. The same applies to the Indonesian translations. We would much appreciate if readers would inform us of any errors they detect, while suggestions for improvement of the inventory are also welcome. Please send any correspondence to the museum and/or to undersigned.
Guided tours of the museum can in principle be arranged, please contact the museum or undersigned.
Arnoud Haag (email)
Anneke Pieket (email)