Coordination Meeting for the Preservation of Archipelago Ancient Manuscripts in 2023 -
Head of the National Library of Indonesia (Perpusnas) Muhammad Syarif Bando said that Indonesia has tens of thousands of manuscripts that must be transferred to the media and converted to a new format so that the contents are easy to access and understand.
This was conveyed at the Coordination Meeting for the Preservation of Archipelago Ancient Manuscripts in 2023 which was held Monday (29/5/2023).
The Head of National Library of Indonesia continues to encourage that an inventory of ancient manuscripts of the Archipelago can be carried out in terms of their scientific subject. That way the values and messages contained therein can be implemented.
"We want the contents of the manuscripts we have to be understood and then created and conveyed to the public," he said.
According to the Head of National Library, in the ancient manuscripts of the Archipelago or Indonesian manuscripts there is a lot of knowledge, human values, and the basic values of human relations with nature.
“Ancient texts are priceless treasures. Through the ancient manuscripts of the Archipelago we can also learn the importance of understanding the historical journey of our ancestors and the nation's historical journey so that we can be at this point, he added.
According to a release received by Voice of Indonesia on Monday, digitizing manuscripts should also be one of the library's priorities. National Library of Indonesia has stored 15 percent or as many as 12,361 manuscripts from a total of manuscript bags spread throughout Indonesia. But only 4,515 of them have been digitized. In this coordination meeting the National Library of Indonesia asked for support from various parties so that efforts to preserve and digitize ancient manuscripts of the Archipelago could continue to be accelerated.
This is because most of the ancient manuscripts are now more than 50 years old and are at risk of being damaged due to Indonesia's tropical climate and hot weather that occurs throughout the year.
Deputy for Human, Community and Cultural Development, Ministry of National Development Planning/BAPPENAS, Amich Alhumami understands that conservation efforts are one that is difficult to get attention. This is because the issue of manuscript preservation is considered to only have a direct impact on certain segments of society.
"The issue of manuscript preservation is still being defeated by infrastructure, creative industries, and agriculture, for example, which are considered more strategic and have a direct impact on society," said Amich.
In fact, according to Amich, efforts to save the ancient manuscripts of the archipelago are fundamental as the foundation of the Indonesian nation's identity, culture and civilization. Therefore, he emphasized that the efforts made by the Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas in efforts to preserve ancient manuscripts of the Archipelago were carried out through the support of budget planning.
"In the long-term development plan (RPJP) that we are currently compiling, we are preparing a section on cultural development that cannot be shifted or transferred. We will continue to monitor the idea of promoting and preserving culture in which there is also a message about preserving cultural values through the preservation of ancient manuscripts so that they can continue to be included in the short, medium and long term development plans," he explained.
Amich also advised that sources of funding in efforts to preserve ancient manuscripts of the Archipelago do not always have to rely on the government. According to him, there are many parties, both the private sector, business actors and industry who have shown extraordinary interest in being an alternative source of financing for efforts to collect and conserve ancient manuscripts.
"Our commitment is also reflected in terms of infrastructure and facilities that are getting more feasible every year, and technology support can also continue to be adopted," he concluded.
Chairman of the Archipelago Manuscript Society (MANASSA) Munawar Holil, who is familiarly called Mumu, was also present as a guest speaker, revealing that the role of the community in efforts to preserve Archipelago manuscripts has been realized through various efforts made through MANASSA.
"The manuscript has not been preserved and a good study has not been carried out which prompted the presence of MANASSA in 1996. Currently MANASSA has 588 members from various backgrounds," he said.
According to Mumu, in an effort to save the ancient manuscripts of the Archipelago, the assistance and appreciation for researchers and owners of ancient manuscripts still needs to be increased considering that currently requests for manuscript studies at various universities are decreasing. Creative works also need to be reproduced to attract public interest to pay more attention to ancient manuscripts//VOI