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National Library of Indonesia Signs MOU with British Library

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MOU signing between National Library of Indonesia and British Library Council - 


The National Library (Perpusnas) has again entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Library of the British Library Council of the United Kingdom of Great Britain or commonly called the British Library (BL).

The MoU was signed by Muhammad Syarif Bando from National Library and Phil Spence from BL. Previously, National Library of Indonesia and BL had entered into a memorandum of understanding in the field of libraries in 2018 - 2021.

Head of National Library Muhammad Syarif Bando stated that the MoU which will be implemented over the next three years is expected to establish close collaboration in the library sector. In the previous MoU period, several activity agendas were carried out including inviting Annabel Teh Gallop, Lead Curator specialist for Southeast Asia to become one of the reviewers in the National Manuscript Journal (Jumantara) published by the National Library and guest speaker at the webinar on Digitizing Archipelago Manuscripts.

The National Library together with the Yogyakarta Palace also succeeded in obtaining 75 digital copies of ancient manuscripts from the British Library to coincide with the 2019 Manuscript Exhibition "Strangling the Traces of Nagari Ngayogyakarta Civilization".

"On this occasion we would like to express our respect and gratitude to the British Library for receiving a visit from the National Library and for responding to the Memory of The World, we will prepare everything including academic manuscripts to obtain a letter of support from the British Library to nominate the Hamzah Fansuri Manuscript. included in the Memory of The World,” he explained in the signing of the MoU which was held at the British Library Building on Wednesday (24/5/2023).

Phil Spence also said that the relationship between the two institutions is very close and has been going on for years since the first Head of National Library, Ms. Mastini. "The British Library will always be the best supporters for the National Library," he said.

Head of National Library of Indonesia hopes that, in the future, the exchange of information and knowledge, sending human resources, and exchanging library materials, can continue. On this occasion the British Library was attended by Phil Spence (Chief Operating Officer), Xerxes Mazda (Head of Collections and Curations), Luisa Elena Mengoni (Head of Asian and African Collections), Annabel Teh Gallop (Lead Curator for Southeast Asia), Marcie Hopkins (Head of International), Khairul Munadi (Duties of Education and Culture Attache Indonesia Embassy in London).

On the same day, Muhammad Syarif Bando was also invited to a celebration event "The Bollinger Javanese Manuscript Digitization Project: 120 more Javanese manuscripts to be digitized" which was held in the Foyle Room, British Library Building.

“We are very grateful to William and Judith Bollinger that 120 Javanese manuscripts at the British Library have been digitized. The manuscripts date from the 18th to the late 19th century, and cover a wide range of subjects, ranging from Javanese literature, history and calendar traditions to Islamic texts on theology, law and Sufism, and include several volumes supplemented by illustration,” said Annabel Teh Gallop.

According to a release received by Voice of Indonesia on Thursday, the British Library is working with partners in Indonesia, especially National Library of Indonesia to help develop metadata for digitizing Javanese manuscripts and observing all aspects of manuscript management at BL.

The British Library also guarantees the Nusantara Manuscripts Society (MANASSA), and the Digital Repository of Endangered and Affected Manuscripts in Southeast Asia (DREAMSEA) to promote and conduct research on Javanese manuscripts in the BL collection.

Selected digital Javanese manuscripts from the British Library will also be transliterated in collaboration with the Sustainable Literature Foundation (YASRI) and will be accessible via the Javanese literature pioneer portal with the link

In addition, the Head of National Library of Indonesia was also invited to enjoy the exhibition "Animals: Art, Science and Sound" which tells a global story about the relationship between humans and animals.

The collection draws from original manuscripts, print publications, artwork and sound recordings from the renowned British Library. Potential highlights in the exhibition include Robert Hooke's influential Micrographia (1665), drawings of the endangered South Asian river dolphin from Baburnama (Mughal India, c. 1590s), correspondence between Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and the LP Songs of the Humpback Whale by Roger Payne (1970)//VOI

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