National Library: Protect Physical Manuscripts

Preserving Diversity, DREAMSEA Digitising Islamic, Catholic and Chinese Manuscripts in East Indonesia
April 10, 2019
Caring for the Memories of the Past. Digitising 20,914 manuscript pages from a Muslim chapel in (surau) in Sijunjung, West Sumatra
April 22, 2019

Manuscripts Preservation

Digitisation is the best way to protect the contents of manuscripts. Through DREAMSEA, digitised manuscripts can be accessed for general, non-commercial, purposes. The manuscript owners are compensated, among others, by giving them disks with the digitised versions of their manuscripts.

After they have been digitised, the manuscripts are returned to their owners to be stored by them. Another form of compensation is that efforts are made to preserve their manuscripts also in a physical way and to do this, DREAMSEA cooperates with the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia to make special boxes for the manuscript owners to store them.

“The boxes are designed to diminish potential damage to the manuscripts and for that they contain low acidity levels,” said Ahmad Tisa Walad, librarian at the national library.

Apart from working with the National Library, this mission is, again, executed in cooperation with the Nusantara Manuscript Association (Manassa) and in this case, also with the ReligionandDevelopment Research Center Makassar. The DREAMSEA program is implemented by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM) of the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta and the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC), University of Hamburg and supported by the Arcadia Foundation. [MNF]

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