The first years
In the first years after the war the Institute’s main task was to collect original documents about the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies during the Second World War. Through radio announcements, newspaper advertisements and posters the Dutch population was encouraged to donate documentation.
Important objects, such as diaries, letters and photo albums were handed over to the institute. Staff of the documentation centre also proactively searched for documentation. For instance, In 1946 Dr. Loe de Jong and deputy director Dr. A.E. Cohen discovered a large part of the archive of the Reichskommissariat in den Niederlanden in Münster.
In addition to collecting and organising all these documents RIOD also did research. Its most famous publication is, without a doubt, Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog by Loe de Jong. The multivolume series was published between 1969 and 1988.
Apart from De Jong’s magnum opus his fellow researchers also published a number of studies, which are still considered classic works within the historiography of the Second World War in the Netherlands and the former Dutch East Indies.