|Weekly News Digest
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Researchers Granted Access to Digitized Malay Manuscripts
The British Library (BL) recently signed an agreement with the National Library Board Singapore (NLB) so researchers can access the BL’s Malay manuscript collection for free online.
Philanthropists William and Judith Bollinger donated £125,000 (about $195,000) for this 5-year digitization project that will preserve historic materials focusing on Thomas Stamford Raffles, the British administrator and founder of Singapore. Among other topics in the collection are documents relating to history, religion, law, culture, folklore, and legends.
The NLB, which oversees the National Library, the Public Libraries, and the National Archives of Singapore, is designed to “provide trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service” to its users, according to the website. The Malay manuscripts will be available for viewing in the BL’s Digitised Manuscripts archive and the NLB’s BookSG.
The BL, which began acquiring these manuscripts in 1753, now has 100 documents from Java and the Malay peninsula from the 17th to the 19th centuries, along with diplomatic letters and 150 legal documents, all of which are in the Malay language. These resources are part of the BL’s India Office Records.
“This collaboration allows the National Library to explore the wealth of information in the British Library’s Southeast Asian collection, especially materials which are of interest to Singapore,” says Gene Tan, director of the National Library. “Our users will be able to easily access rarely seen documents relating to the rich history and culture of Singapore and the region.”
Source: The British Library
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