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27 Aug 2019

A Cadre of Manuscript Preservers is Required for Manuscript Preservation

Mangga Besar, Jakarta--Ancient manuscripts are the product of ancestors’ thoughts containing the diversity of the nation's culture. Indonesia is rich in diverse types and amounts of cultural treasures from each region. The existence of libraries is the fruit of human culture and civilisation.

Unfortunately, cultural products of the ancestors, such as scripts/manuscripts are not well maintained. Many carried out the treatment with perfunctory without knowing the right techniques. As a result, it reduced the age of ancient manuscripts, it is eaten by gust, and even some become obsolete with age. Whereas cultural heritage contained in the scripts/manuscripts is full of values, beliefs, habits, customs, conservation, ethics, and so on.

"Library paradigm in the field of conservation must be transformed. The paradigm from just storing and caring for collections to providing and expanding access to information; from just providing collection needs to diversifying and implementing content so that it remains sustainable in society," said Head of Library Material Preservation Centre of National Library, Ahmad Masykuri, when opening Seminar and Workshop on Method of Library Material Preservation, Monday, (26/8).

Direction of National Library preservation policy currently focuses on, including (1) strengthening the development of library field in restoring intellectual property of the nation; (2) strengthening the function of fostering ancient manuscript library material preservation; (3) encouraging that all preservation provisions mandated in legislation be followed up for libraries and the public; (4) realising library as a centre for reference and preservation research through strengthening preservation techniques, and; (5) conducting cooperation activities between domestic and foreign institutions in the context of library material preservation.

It is undeniable that many of Indonesia's cultural treasures are stored scattered in various places, such as in libraries, traditional institutions, museums, palaces, the communities, even abroad. However, efforts to deal with preservation have not been maximised despite strong regulations.

Take for example in the museum, where ancient manuscripts are displayed or combined with other artifact objects. As a matter of fact, the manuscript must be in a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, with a humidity of less than 55 degrees Celsius so that it is not easily damaged.

It is somewhat alarming if collection of scripts/manuscripts is kept by individuals. It seems perfunctory. They are wrapped and put in a box (crates) without paying attention to the temperature and humidity of the room. "This is a result of lack of knowledge on how to manage and maintain manuscript. Therefore, persuasive action needs to be continued," added Masykuri.

Therefore, it is important for libraries in each region to play the role as cadres to preserve manuscript. One of the efforts that can be carried out for example is by cooperating with companies or BUMD, utilising CSR funds for manuscript digitisation so that generations of children and grandchildren may continue to enjoy collection of books, manuscripts and literature that we have, "added Ahmad Masykuri.

The Seminar and Workshop presented 160 participants from regency/municipal library services, museum representatives, Nusantara Manuscript Society (Manasa), as well as literacy activists from various regions.

In addition to introducing physical preservation method for ancient manuscripts at National Library, they were given the opportunity to get to know ancient manuscript media transfer method of Manasa Foundation, film treatment methods by Lisabona Rahman, as well as ancient manuscript physical preservation from Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Germany, Katharina Wewerke.

List of Conserved Collection

No

Collection Type

Copy

1

Rare Book

120

2

Rare Magazine

30

3

Map

1,800

4

Rare Newspaper

300

5

Ancient Manuscript

30

6

Fumigation

30,000

7

Library Material Treatment

33,000

8

Book Binding

6,000

9

Magazine Binding

4,500

10

Newspaper Binding

2,400

11

The Making of Library Material Storage Media

3,000

 

                        TOTAL                                  81,450

(Data as of 2016-2018)

 

List of Digitised Collection

No

Collection Type

Copy

1

Manuscript

1,849

2

Rare Book

963

3

Serial

290

4

Map

313

5

Audio

3,300 albums/cassettes

6

Historical Photograph/Image

1,000

7

Microfilm converted

111

8

Electronic Resources

1,012

 

                        TOTAL                                  8,883

(Data as of 2016-2018)

 

 

(ec)

 



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